News » Dr. Jeffrey S. Akman, Tapped by D.C. Mayor to Serve on Commission on HIV/AIDS

Dr. Jeffrey S. Akman, Tapped by D.C. Mayor to Serve on Commission on HIV/AIDS

Washington (March 11, 2011) – Washington, D.C., Mayor Vincent Gray has appointed Jeffrey S. Akman, M.D., to serve on the newly created Mayor’s Commission on HIV/AIDS. Akman, a psychiatrist who currently serves as the Interim Vice Provost for Health Affairs and Dean of the School of Medicine and Health Sciences at The George Washington University, is a nationally recognized expert in the psychiatric care of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals (GLBT).

A graduate of GW’s School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Dr. Akman is one of a handful of psychiatrists who defined and developed the field of HIV/AIDS psychiatry in the mid-1980’s. He was the principal investigator of a grant from the National Institutes of Health to train and educate health care professionals in medical and mental health aspects of HIV/AIDS and has presented at numerous national meetings on the subjects of HIV/AIDS neuropsychiatry and GLBT psychiatry.

“I am very honored to serve on the Mayor’s Commission on HIV/AIDS. Mayor Gray’s decision to establish this Commission reflects a significant commitment by the city to intensify its efforts to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic that is affecting so many people in the nation’s capital,” Akman said.

Washington, D.C., has an HIV/AIDS prevalence of more than three percent among its adult population, which is the highest infection rate of any city in the United States and more than three times above the threshold for what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers a “severe epidemic.” In announcing the members of the Commission, Mayor Gray said, “I created this Commission to ensure that the District of Columbia government addresses HIV/AIDS in an informed, strategic, comprehensive manner and addresses the needs of all District residents living with HIV/AIDS.”

Dr. Akman has a long and distinguished career as one of Washington’s leading psychiatrists, including extensive volunteer service to the community dating back to the beginning of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the early 1980s. In addition to providing many hours of direct pro bono service to the clients and staff of several nonprofit community organizations, Dr. Akman served on the boards of directors of the Whitman-Walker Clinic (President, 1992-93), the National Lesbian & Gay Health Association (President, 1996-98), the Washington Psychiatric Society (President, 2003-04), the Medical Society of the District of Columbia, and Food & Friends, a nonprofit organization that prepares, packages and delivers meals and groceries to people in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area living with HIV/AIDS, cancer, and other life-challenging illnesses.

For his extensive volunteer efforts in the community, Dr. Akman was honored by the GW’s School of Medicine and Health Sciences with its Margaret B. and Cyril A. Schulman Distinguished Service Award, and by the Medical Society of the District of Columbia with its Charles H . Epps III, M.D., Community Service Award.

Dr. Akman is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and has served on its AIDS Commission and co-chaired its AIDS Education Project.  He is a member of the Organization of AIDS Psychiatrists, the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association, and the Association of Gay and Lesbian Psychiatrists. He has been recognized numerous times as one of the “Top Doctors” in Washingtonian magazine and was named one of “America’s Top Psychiatrists” by the Consumer's Research Council of America.