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Openly gay CDC HIV chief reflects on ‘humbling’ journey

The CDC's Kevin Fenton discusses HIV and AIDS progress on teleconference

Dr. Kevin Fenton has much to be proud of during his eight years at the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, especially the strong relationships he and the federal agency forged with local and community-based organizations.

Fenton steps down from his position as director of the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD & TB Prevention after a seven-year tenure on Dec. 21 and returns to his home in the U.K. on Dec. 31.

Dr. Rima Khabbaz, director of the Office of Infectious Diseases, will begin serving as acting director of NCHHSTP on Jan. 2, 2013, while a national search is conducted to select a permanent director.

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Openly gay CDC director leaving after 7 years at helm of HIV/AIDS division

Dr. Kevin Fenton, an openly gay man, announced in a letter to colleagues today that he is leaving his position as the director of the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention for the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Fenton said in the letter he would leave his post by the end of the year and will move back to his home country of England to work as the Director for Health Improvement and Population Health for Public Health England, a new organization opening in April 2013.

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CDC: Testing will help ‘turn the tide’ in fight against HIV/AIDS among gay men

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Today, Sept. 27, is National Gay Men's HIV/AIDS Awareness Day and the Center's for Disease Control & Prevention is urging gay and bisexual men to get tested for HIV.  In the U.S., men who have sex with men continue to be the demographic that has the most new infections each year.

According to the CDC, gay and bisexual men represent 2 percent of the U.S. population,"yet account for more than half of both new HIV infections each year and Americans living with HIV. Since the beginning of the epidemic, nearly 350,000 gay and bisexual men with AIDS have died, and more than 8,000 still die each year."

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CDC leader: Homophobia impacts funds for HIV prevention

Dr. Kevin Fenton

The latest numbers are staggering: 61 percent of new HIV infections in the U.S. are among gay and bisexual men, although this population accounts for only 2 percent of the country’s population, according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.

Among black gay and bisexual men, the numbers are even more dire, with the CDC reporting a 48 percent increase in new HIV infections ages 13-29 between 2006-2009.

But funding for HIV prevention and research for gay and bisexual men is about half what it should be, said Dr. Kevin Fenton, the CDC’s director of the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention.