GMHC enthusiastically congratulates our friend Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, who will soon start as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s new director of the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention. He brings a vast amount of experience in prevention and treatment specifically of HIV, sexually transmitted infections, and vaccine-preventable diseases.
Dr. Daskalakis was previously a member of GMHC’s Board of Directors. While serving in this role, he helped coordinate GMHC’s response to a 2012 meningitis outbreak among gay men with New York City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. The effort included vaccinating gay men at GMHC’s Testing Center, after-hour sex clubs, Fire Island, and other venues. His efforts were considered one of the successes in eliminating the outbreak.
A few years later when he joined the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, he led a team in creating bold and innovative programming and public service campaigns targeting populations at higher risk of HIV, including Black and Latinx gay and bisexual men, and Black and Latinx transgender women. He was even part of a daring public education campaign titled “Bare it All” that linked LGBTQ+ people to judgment-free, comprehensive health care.
Dr. Daskalakis has been integral to NYC’s Ending the HIV/AIDS Epidemic programs and was part of Governor Cuomo’s Ending the Epidemic Task Force that also included GMHC CEO Kelsey Louie. “We have worked with Dr. Daskalakis and his staff for many years and have valued his exemplary leadership and expertise,” said Louie. “While we will greatly miss him at the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, we look forward to continuing our work with him at the CDC. As we close out this unprecedented and challenging year, we express our thanks for all that Dr. Daskalakis has contributed and will further contribute to the health and wellbeing of millions of people. Under the upcoming Biden administration, Dr. Daskalakis will provide new leadership that is needed to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic.”
Photo caption: From left to right, Michael Macneal, Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, and GMHC CEO Kelsey Louie at a GMHC Fall Gala.