EU Civil Society Forum on HIV/AIDS, viral hepatitis and tuberculosis: obituary for John Ryan

Back to the "News" list

The EU Civil Society Forum on HIV/AIDS, viral hepatitis and tuberculosis is saddened by the passing away of John Ryan, a remarkable and engaged civil servant and Deputy Director General for Health at DG SANTE until he retired a few months ago. We send our condolences to his family, friends & colleagues. He is missed.


We remember a profoundly humanist and solution-oriented person that was devoted to improving European public and individual health outcomes. He recognized the syndemic nature of HIV, viral hepatitis, TB, other diseases and socio-economic determinants. He named the reasons why certain populations were at greater risk – people who are pushed to the margins, who experience precarious situations and who are discriminated because of sexual orientation, gender, sex work, drug use or not having documents.


He understood how effectively civil society and community organizations respond to the unmet needs of key affected populations. He was a staunch defender of their involvement in policymaking. He promoted collaboration between civil society, agencies and governments. He engaged with EU neighbouring countries experiencing expanding epidemics. John Ryan contributed to the development of key policy tools, such as the Dublin declaration, which 20 years later is still used to monitor progress in responding to HIV, the EU Civil Society Forum on HIV/AIDS, viral hepatitis and tuberculosis. He had a similar approach, effective and person-centred, in supporting the development of the EU’s reponse to SARS-COV-2 response, the growing epidemics of cancers epidemics and mental health issues, amongst others.


For all this, we warmly thank him and we remember his enduring legacy.


Get involved

Are you living with HIV/AIDS? Are you part of a community affected by HIV/AIDS and co-infections? Do you work or volunteer in the field? Are you motivated by our cause and interested to support our work?


Stay in the loop and get all the important EATG updates in your inbox with the EATG newsletter. The HIV & co-infections bulletin is your source of handpicked news from the field arriving regularly to your inbox.