WASHINGTON, July 8, 2010 — The World Bank today appointed internationally renowned AIDS expert Dr. David Wilson as its new Global HIV/AIDS Program Director, reaffirming its commitment to support effective long-term prevention, care, treatment, and mitigation programs in developing countries.
“David brings extraordinary knowledge and experience to this vital role, and we are very pleased that he is taking on this post at such a critical juncture,” said World Bank Managing Director Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. “With just five years left for countries to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, we must ramp up our efforts to prevent new infections, deliver life-saving AIDS drugs, and strengthen national health systems.”
Wilson, a Zimbabwean national, has published widely on AIDS, developed HIV prevention programs that have been cited as international best practices by the World Health Organization, and advised numerous national governments and international agencies. Since joining the Bank in 2003, Dr. Wilson has worked around the world providing strategic AIDS advice to governments such as South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, India, China, Vietnam, Lebanon and Papua New Guinea. Dr. Wilson will lead the Bank’s delegation to the XVII International AIDS Conference later this month in Vienna.
As AIDS Director, Dr. Wilson will be responsible for guiding and implementing the Bank’s global AIDS strategy, focusing on four key areas: promoting effective HIV prevention strategies, especially among high-risk groups; helping countries integrate AIDS treatment and other HIV-related health services into their public health systems; harnessing the Bank’s leading expertise in social protection to develop safety nets for those most impacted by the disease, particularly widows, orphans and marginalized groups such as injecting drug users; and leading economic analysis to help countries improve the effectiveness and sustainability of their AIDS responses.
“We need better prevention programs that can keep people HIV-free for the rest of their lives,” said Dr. Wilson. “One of the Bank’s most important contributions is providing countries with evidence to better understand where and how new HIV infections are occurring, and to use proven approaches to tackle these infections. With better evidence we can make prevention services succeed and make AIDS treatment more sustainable.”
His appointment is effective immediately.