Jonathan “Jono” Mermin, MD, MPH, has been appointed as the new director of the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). He will begin his tenure on July 25.
Dr. Mermin has a very unique perspective in addressing NCHHSTP’s lifesaving mission with his most recent experience leading CDC’s domestic HIV prevention activities and his prior experience fighting HIV, tuberculosis, malaria, and other emerging infections in Africa.
A physician trained in internal medicine and preventive medicine, Dr. Mermin joined CDC in 1995 as an Epidemic Intelligence Service officer in Foodborne and Diarrheal Diseases. From 1997 to 1998, he worked in the California Department of Health Services in infectious disease control. In 1999, he became the CDC Country Director in Uganda where he oversaw ground-breaking HIV prevention and care programs that focused on practical, evidence-based interventions. This included the first antiretroviral treatment program funded by CDC outside the United States, the development of a basic care package that was incorporated into World Health Organization guidelines, and the first nationally-representative HIV survey in Africa that estimated treatment and care coverage and examined risk factors for recent infection. He also served as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ public health attaché for the U.S. Embassy in Uganda.
In 2006, Dr. Mermin was named CDC Country Director in Kenya, where he oversaw program and research activities supported by seven CDC centers. In 2009, he returned to Atlanta to lead CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention (DHAP). He worked to align efforts with scientific evidence and improve HIV prevention, including within the health care sector.
Since 2010, Dr. Mermin’s domestic efforts in DHAP have been guided the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) a comprehensive roadmap for reducing the impact of HIV in the United States. To advance NHAS, CDC and its partners are currently pursuing a High-Impact Prevention approach, which maximizes the effectiveness of current HIV prevention methods, by using combinations of scientifically proven, cost-effective, and scalable interventions targeted to the right populations in the right geographic areas. This methodology promises to greatly increase the impact of HIV prevention efforts including: supporting prevention programs and prevention research, tracking the HIV epidemic, and raising awareness.