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Dr. Hunter Handsfield wins prestigious Thomas Parran Award
Date:3/3/2010

how gonorrhea spreads in populations. He led the research efforts that established the current first-line gonorrhea treatments with the antibiotics ceftriaxone or cefixime.

In the 1980s, Handsfield was among the first public health experts to promote routine, voluntary HIV testing of persons at risk, a controversial strategy at the time. Two decades later, as a visiting scientist at CDC, he helped develop and promote CDC's current recommendations for routine HIV testing of all persons seeking health care, now a cornerstone of HIV prevention.

In selecting Handsfield for the Parran Award, the nominating committee also cited his leadership in research and promotion of expedited partner therapy, whereby the partners of persons with chlamydia or gonorrhea may receive antibiotics without necessarily being examined in person. Under Handsfield's leadership as visiting scientist, expedited partner therapy became recommended by CDC as a standard prevention strategy.

Other accomplishments cited by the committee include Handsfield's research on syphilis, in particular the frequency of early invasion of the brain and spinal cord, setting the stage for later complications; policies to prevent genital herpes, especially transmission to newborns; research establishing the importance of sex in transmitting cytomegalovirus; strategies for STD/HIV prevention in men who have sex with men; and three decades of consulting with CDC, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and other agencies on treatment and prevention of STDs.

"Hunter was perfecting the art of 'program science' or 'implementation research' well before these terms became fashionable," said Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo, ASTDA president. "He is an amazing example of someone who has always quickly grasped the implications that cutting-edge scientific discovery could have for enhancing health, both at the community and individual patient levels. His broad intellect and curiosity, deep generosity with
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Contact: Bobbi Nodell
bnodell@uw.edu
206-271-1429
University of Washington - Health Sciences/UW News, Community Relations & Marketing
Source:Eurekalert  

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