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Posted at 6:59 PM ET, 06/14/2010

D.C.'s HIV/AIDS office is in good hands

By editors

By Guy-Oreido Weston
Silver Spring

Regarding the June 11 Metro article “Vacuum feared at top of D.C. HIV/AIDS agency”:

There’s no question that Shannon L. Hader made great strides in improving what had been a floundering public health enterprise. Her leadership inspired confidence for a host of providers and consumers that rely on the HIV/AIDS office for funding, data and technical assistance to build and coordinate solutions to the burgeoning public health problem of HIV/AIDS. Ms. Hader’s emphasis on science and data-driven program planning provided insight into the dynamics of the District’s epidemic that was unparalleled in recent memory.

That said, I find The Post story off base for saying that the HIV/AIDS Administration is left “without a strong leader at a time when federal agencies are pouring millions of dollars into the District to study its epidemic infection rate.” Ms. Hader also can be credited with establishing the position of chief medical officer within her management team. Nnemdi Kamanu Elias, the chief medical officer, who has been appointed interim director of the HIV/AIDS agency, has an Ivy League medical education, completed her residency at one of the nation’s premier HIV-care hospitals, and has held senior management positions in HIV programs in the Netherlands and Tanzania.

It is unreasonable to suggest that she is not prepared for the task before her. Ultimately, we must focus more on effective and innovative strategies to fight the epidemic and less on such distracting questions.

The writer is a consultant to local HIV/AIDS programs and a former director of data and research at the HIV/AIDS Administration.

By editors  | June 14, 2010; 6:59 PM ET
Categories:  D.C., HIV, HotTopic, public health  
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By far the biggest new development in reducing HIV/AIDS transmission to babies and fetuses from infected mothers is to elevate and maintain circulating vitamin D levels (25 OH D).

A very recent finding documented that mothers with circulating vitamin D levels (25 OH D) below 32 ng/ml had a 50% higher rate of transmission to newborns and similar result on mortality of growing fetuses.

Here is the link:

Prenatal Outcomes, Including Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV, and Child

Mortality and Their Association with Maternal Vitamin D Status in Tanzania.

J Infect Dis. 2009 Aug 12.

Above all be aware that 50 ng/ml, 25 OH D, circulating vitamin D level, is considered the healthy, natural norm by dedicated vitamin D researchers.

30 ng/ml, 25 OH D, will not afford the greatest benefit of vitamin D health.

Posted by: dokadow | June 16, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

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