Wafaa El-Sadr, professor of clinical medicine and epidemiology at Columbia University , was among six individuals and institutions honored by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg to commemorate World AIDS Day. At a reception at Gracie Mansion earlier this month, the honorees were cited for their exemplary work and service to help stem the tide of HIV/AIDS in New York City.
El-Sadr, who also serves as chief of the division of infectious diseases at Harlem Hospital Center, was acknowledged for her role in meeting the needs of women and substance abusers, and for co-founding and directing the internationally renowned Mailman School HIV/AIDS Initiative, MTCT-Plus, which aims to provide access to care and treatment to HIV-infected women and their children and partners in resource-limited countries in Africa and Asia.
"This World AIDS Day we acknowledge the critical need to prevent HIV in women, who represent nearly a third of the City's people living with HIV/AIDS," said Mayor Bloomberg. "I commend today's honorees and so many others who work tirelessly to stem the tide of this disease and serve as a model for the rest of the world."
Mayor Bloomberg and Thomas Frieden, commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, also announced a permanent addition of $5 million to the DOHMH budget to fight HIV/AIDS in communities of color. For more information on Mayor Bloomberg's World AIDS Day event and honorees, visit www.nyc.gov/portal/index.jsp.
On Nov. 30, at a World AIDS day symposium and luncheon co-sponsored by the Mailman School and the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR), El-Sadr also was honored for her leadership in the areas of epidemiology and the management of HIV and tuberculosis, the MTCT-Plus Initiative and her dedication to developing successful clinical programs to combat infectious disease.
Allan Rosenfield, dean of the Mailman School , said, "We are proud and delighted that Dr. El-Sadr was honored for her achievements in the field of HIV/AIDS. At the Mailman School, Dr. El-Sadr has been at the forefront of efforts to establish HIV care and treatment programs, facilitating and supporting efforts around the globe, and helping create synergy among service delivery, research, and training activities. Dr. El-Sadr has impacted countless lives, offering care that goes beyond the clinic."
The MTCT-Plus Initiative is one of four major programs coordinated through the International Center for AIDS Care and Treatment Programs (ICAP), which is directed by El-Sadr. It serves as a model multi-country, family-centered HIV care and treatment program in resource-limited settings and supports several programs in providing comprehensive care and treatment to HIV-infected women and their families. The MTCT-Plus model of care is unique, centered on family-based care provided by a multidisciplinary team. Initially funded by a coalition of eight foundations and expanded through a cooperative agreement with the United States Agency for International Development, the MTCT-Plus Initiative has established care and treatment programs in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia and enrolled more than 6,200 adults and children to date. Funding support totals more than $100 million.