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AN INDEPENDENT STUDENT NEWSPAPER SERVING THE GW COMMUNITY SINCE 1904

The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Officials to clear homeless encampment near campus in May
By Max Porter, Contributing News Editor • March 4, 2024

Vice Provost for Health Affairs named to Mayor’s Commission on HIV/AIDS

Interim Vice Provost for Health Affairs Jeffrey Akman was named as part of the Mayor’s Commission on HIV/AIDS earlier this week.

Alumnus and Mayor Vincent Gray announced the creation of the Commission last month to address and help prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS in the District, where the infection rate is about 3 percent.

Gray, Akman and other members of the Commission will make recommendations to help the HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STD and TB Administration develop its strategic plan.

“I am very honored to have been asked to serve on the Mayor’s Commission on HIV/AIDS,” Akman said in an e-mail Thursday. “I think the Mayor’s decision to constitute this Commission reflects a significant intensification of the city’s efforts to address the epidemic.”

The Commission’s focus is “on treatment, the needs of people living with HIV/AIDS, and prevention to stop new infections,” according to a press release from the mayor’s office.

So far 21 of the 27 members have been appointed to the Commission, which held its first meeting Tuesday. Other members are expected to be named by Gray in the future, according to the press release.

Akman’s credentials in the study and treatment of HIV and AIDS patients go back to the mid-1980s. He helped develop the field of HIV/AIDS psychiatry, and he is nationally recognized for his work.

With a National Institutes of Health grant, he helped educate health care professionals in the medical and mental health aspects of the disease.

Akman is an alumnus, having completed his residency in psychiatry at GW’s medical center. He joined GW’s faculty in 1985 and served as chair of the psychiatry and behavioral sciences department since 2000, before becoming interim vice provost, and dean of the School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

His work with AIDS research and treatment continued throughout his time at GW.  Akman served on the American Psychiatric Association’s AIDS Commission and has co-chaired its AIDS Education Project.

He is also known for his volunteer work, having served on the boards of directors of nonprofit organizations like the Whitman-Walker Clinic, the National Lesbian & Gay Health Association and the Washington Psychiatric Society, among others.

While Akman was unable to attend the Commission’s first meeting Tuesday due to prior commitments, he said he has worked with other members of the commission in the past.

Akman noted that faculty members of GW’s medical center have worked closely with D.C. health officials in significant ways related to HIV and AIDS as well.

“In my new capacity as interim vice provost for health affairs and dean of the School of Medicine and Health Sciences, I am certain to tap some of the nation’s leading HIV/AIDS experts in medicine and public health who are on our faculty for their expertise and recommendations as it may pertain to the work of the Commission,” he said.

A full list of Commission members is available here.

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