As a board-certified infectious disease physician and HIV specialist who has cared for patients with HIV for more than 25 years, Dr. Vilma Vega enriches ViiV Healthcare with medical expertise as well as her expansive experience in HIV clinical research, community care, education, and consulting. Driven to pursue humanitarian endeavors as well, Vilma is credited with being instrumental in her non-profit organization delivering medical treatment for nearly 100,000 patients worldwide, while also issuing grants for medical programs and other underserved needs in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, India, and Asia. With the same passion and dedication that in informs her humanitarian work, Vilma’s work at ViiV is keenly aligned with ViiV’s approach to go beyond developing new medicines by taking a holistic approach to reach the HIV community. ViiV is fortunate to benefit from Vilma’s inspired accomplishments, and Vilma is excited to share her expertise in helping ViiV deliver significant advances to address unmet needs for all people living with HIV.
Vilma joined ViiV in late 2019 as Regional Medical Director for the Central U.S. region. While serving as a medical educator to the HIV/Infectious Disease medical communities, Vilma provides education on ViiV products and topics of interest to ViiV while also gathering relevant medical insights to help improve care. In these capacities she interfaces with HIV/Infectious Disease healthcare providers, academic institutions, patient advocacy groups, and people living with HIV, while also interfacing internally with the ViiV North America Medical Affairs team. Concurrent with her work at ViiV, Vilma will continue to provide evaluation and care of outpatient clinic patients at the AIDS Healthcare Foundation in Safety Harbor, Florida.
Previous to ViiV, Vilma led as HIV Field Medical Director in 2019 for EMD Serono, Merck KGaA, in Darmstadt, Germany, providing medical expertise to the Infectious Diseases/HIV medical communities for EMD Serono products. Prior to that, she served in community-focused roles in Florida as the Chief Medical Officer of CAN Community Health and the Medical Director in their Clearwater and New Port Richey clinics. In 2003, Vilma formed Vega Consulting, leading as its CEO and President and providing consulting services for nonprofit HIV/AIDS organizations, infectious disease medical practices, and the pharmaceutical industry. Earlier in her career, Vilma joined In Infectious Disease Associates in Sarasota, Florida in 1995, continuing as a Hospital and Office Consultant for over 20 years while leading and developing HIV treatment programs in the region. During that time, she also led research initiatives for over 15 years as Clinical Research Director at the Infectious Diseases Associates Research Center in Sarasota. Keen to support the development of others, Vilma has continued since 1995 to provide support as a Preceptor for Medical, PharmD, and ARNP students at several universities in Florida.
After an inspirational medical mission trip in 2005, Vilma founded the Sarasota-based nonprofit Hearts Afire organization in 2006 and served as president until 2011. She remains active as President Emeritus and Executive Board Member and continues working currently to train new medical mission leaders and select grant award recipients. With a footprint in 13 countries, Hearts Afire sends healthcare professionals and others on short-term humanitarian medical mission trips to Africa, Asia, India, Latin America, and the Caribbean. A frequent speaker nationally and internationally, Vilma has contributed on numerous advisory boards and consulting committees, and was the 2008 recipient of the Frist Humanitarian Award.
Vilma received her MD degree in 1990 from the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford, and completed a Residency in Internal Medicine and a Fellowship in Infectious Disease at Jackson Memorial Hospital/University of Miami in Florida. She also holds a BS in Biology from Loyola University of Chicago and a Bachelor of Ministry from Christian Family Church International.
Vilma lives in Palm Harbor in Florida, is a native of Peru, and is fluent in Spanish and English, with limited proficiency in French and Creole. She is a Certified Personal Trainer and Certified Health and Wellness Coach, and has personal interest in medicine and spirituality. In her free time, Vilma enjoys spending time with family and friends, exploring the world with adventure travel, staying active in her church, and working on her book about life and balance.