It is with great sadness that we acknowledge the passing of our friend and colleague Humberto Cruz on April 19, 2019.
Humberto dedicated his career to improving health outcomes for people living with and affected by HIV. He was a staunch voice and advocate for the Latinx community, and he made major contributions to state and national responses to HIV and AIDS.
Humberto played an instrumental role in developing a comprehensive, state-level continuum of care—including integrating HIV care into primary services—for people living with HIV and AIDS in New York. He spent most of his career with the New York State Department of Health’s AIDS Institute and served as the Institute’s director from November 2007 to April 2013.
At the national level, he helped found the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors and went on to serve as a member of the organization’s executive committee. In 2010, he was appointed to serve on the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, where he contributed to the development of the first U.S. National HIV/AIDS Strategy.
Accolades from Colleagues
Colleagues from across the nation reflect on Humberto’s legacy and how he served as a role model for HIV advocacy:
Humberto was a valued leader with a strong voice for the HIV and Latinx communities and all those in need. He devoted his life to ensuring that everyone who needed HIV care and treatment could access it, and he helped to pave the way for the day when we will end the HIV epidemic in the United States.CARL SCHMID, DEPUTY EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, THE AIDS INSTITUTE, AND CO-CHAIR, PRESIDENTIAL ADVISORY COUNCIL ON HIV/AIDS
Humberto Cruz possessed a deep commitment to strengthening the national and community-level response to the HIV epidemic. His passion for this work led to improvements in the lives of many people living with HIV.Tammy Beckham, DVM, PhD, Director, HHS Office of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy
Humberto advised us as we built HIV.gov and again as we developed our digital technical assistance program. He graciously shared with us his immense expertise and experience in working with the HIV community, and he demanded levels of excellence and inclusion that pushed us to make the program better.MIGUEL GOMEZ, DIRECTOR, HIV.GOV
We offer our heartfelt condolences to Humberto’s family, friends, and colleagues.