Nathan Shaffer, MD
Consultant and Former Senior Advisor for PMTCT, World Health Organization
Dr. Shaffer will review the groundbreaking clinical trials which established the science of PMTCT, elimination efforts
in the US, the challenges and successes of effective implementation in developing countries, current issues, and the
vision of global EMTCT (Elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis).
Dr. Nathan Shaffer is currently an independent consultant, with 28 years of experience in HIV and PMTCT. He
retired from the World Health Organization, Geneva (WHO) in 2015, where he served as the senior advisor for
PMTCT in the HIV Department, from 2009-2015. In that role, he had primary responsibility for developing and
supporting the WHO guidelines on ARVs for pregnant women, including the recommendations on lifelong ART for
pregnant and breastfeeding women (“Option B+”). He led WHO support for the UNAIDS/PEPFAR Global Plan on the
elimination of new HIV infections in children and keeping mothers alive and currently serves as the co-chair of the
WHO Global Validation Advisory Committee for EMTCT (Elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and
Prior to his work at WHO, he worked for 23 years at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Key
achievements and responsibilities included his work as PI of the “short-course AZT trial” conducted in Thailand
(published 1999), which catalyzed the global response on PMTCT in developing countries and led the CDC PMTCT
technical team as part of PEPFAR. He is recognized as an international expert in PMTCT/EMTCT, including both
scientific and implementation issues. He has worked extensively in Africa and Asia, and is the author or co-author
on more than 100 peer-reviewed publications.
He obtained his MD degree from Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York in 1982, completed his
internal medicine residency and board certification at Boston City Hospital in 1985 and a 2-year fellowship in
epidemiology (EIS) at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 1988.