News & Updates

PrEP4All Remembers Dr. Dawn Smith, A Champion For Equity, PrEP, and HIV Prevention

PrEP4All mourns the loss of Dr. Dawn Smith, who passed on Wednesday, November 2, 2022. Dr. Smith, a medical officer for the CDC’s Department of HIV Prevention, was a public health expert, advocate and tireless ally in the fight for health justice. Her work to make PrEP accessible to communities vulnerable to HIV saved lives and changed communities. We join with so many in the HIV community in grieving her loss and celebrating her life and contributions.   

Committed to addressing the gender and racial disparities in HIV prevention efforts, especially focused on PrEP access and uptake, Dr. Dawn Smith was a huge influence on PrEP activism. Dr. Smith’s research and analysis brought much-needed attention to huge health inequities, often giving activists a basis for action by highlighting the urgent need for biomedical interventions and strategies that center women and people of color. 

As a lead author on the CDC’s clinical PrEP guidelines, Dr. Smith was vocal about challenging stigma and making sure heterosexual men and women were not left out of conversations about who could benefit from PrEP.  “That’s not a portion of the epidemic we want to ignore,” Dr. Smith told NBC News when interim CDC PrEP guidelines were first released in 2012. 

Few people traversed global and domestic HIV work with such consistent, authentic commitment to realizing the right of people everywhere to access healthcare, including HIV prevention and treatment, with dignity. PrEP4All sends condolences to her family, friends, and colleagues at the CDC.