Marc Gentilini was born July 31, 1929 in Compiegne. He received his secondary education at the Jesuit College in Reims. He began his medical studies in Reims, continued in Paris with an externship and then boarded the Hospitals of Paris, in internal medicine. He performed an assistantship in Parasitology. He fulfilled his national service in Algeria (Hamada Guir), Sudan French-Mali (Gao) and Senegal (Thies).
As a Fellow/ Assistant in Paris Hospitals, he was appointed to the Paris University medical teaching staff in 1966. In the same year, elected member of the Society of Exotic Pathology.
At the Pitie Salpetriere Hospital, Marc Gentilini successively assumed the following responsibilities: Professor of Parasitology, Public Health, Infectious and Tropical Diseases. These disciplines together formed a synergetic clinical and biological entity which boosted the first INSERM research unit dedicated to malaria and AIDS in Africa. From this department came the lymph node in which Professor Luc Montagnier and his colleagues could identify the AIDS virus.
In 1988, with some French and foreign doctors faced with the epidemic of HIV/AIDS, he created the Pan African Organization against AIDS (OPALS), whose objective is to provide people infected with HIV living in developing countries the drugs available in the North. With OPALS, 12 centers for outpatient treatment (CTA) dedicated to HIV + patients will be implemented in Sub Saharan Africa.
At the end of its clinical activities, in June 1997, Marc Gentilini was elected President of the French Red Cross for more than seven years, until December 2004. During this time, he created and developed, among others, international programs, about OPALS.
Marc Gentilini was a member of the Council of Economic, Social, and Environmental from 2002 to 2010. He wrote a critical opinion in 2006 on the” French Health Cooperation in developing countries.” He was also President of the Water Academy for 10 years, until 2014.
He is member of the Academy of Medicine in 1991 which he chaired in 2008.