Paul Volberding assumes leadership role at HIV medicine association

By Liese Greensfelder

Paul Volberding, MD, vice chair of University of California, San Francisco’s Department of Medicine and chief of medical service at the San Francisco VA Medical Center, has assumed the position of chairman of the board of directors of the HIV Medicine Association (HIVMA). He was elected to the office of vice chairman/chairman-elect in 2001.

Volberding is a leading authority on HIV in the areas of patient care, clinical research and professional education. He was among the first to see AIDS cases in San Francisco in 1981 and was later instrumental in establishing dedicated HIV services at San Francisco General Hospital and other organizations. Volberding’s research career began with investigations of HIV-related malignancies, especially Kaposi’s sarcoma, but his focus shifted to testing anti-retroviral compounds, conducting groundbreaking trials establishing standards of care for the use of zidovudine in asymptomatic HIV infection. He was elected a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences in 1999 and currently serves on the board of directors of the Northern California Institute for Research and Education.

In his role as chairman of HIVMA, Volberding says he plans to expand the public policy and advocacy activities of the association, which is an organizational home for more than 2,500 physicians, scientists and other health care professionals in the U.S. and abroad who are dedicated to the field of HIV/AIDS research, advocacy and care. Volberding will also work on promoting relationships between the association and other HIV organizations, with the goals of fostering research, facilitating and improving provider training in the U.S. and the developing world, and encouraging more effective collaboration on federal policymaking.

Since its inception in 2000, HIVMA has supported clinicians in overcoming the challenges inherent in providing high-quality health care to patients living with HIV disease. The association represents the interests of HIV patients by promoting quality in HIV care and by advocating for policies that ensure a comprehensive and humane response to the worldwide AIDS epidemic. The organization is based in Alexandria, Virginia.