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Treatment Action Group Welcomes Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) Project Co-Directors Annette Gaudino and Bryn Gay

Salutes Outgoing HCV Project Directors for their Superb Activism

June 16, 2016, New York, NY

Today Treatment Action Group (TAG) welcomes incoming Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) Project Co-Directors Annette Gaudino and Bryn Gay. Annette begins at TAG today and Bryn on June 20. They will co-direct TAG’s HCV Project, which advocates for more research and better preventive treatment and curative interventions for people at risk for or living with HCV with or without HIV coinfection, as well as for universal access to effective HCV interventions, harm reduction, human rights, and lower drug costs domestically and internationally.

Incoming TAG HCV Project Co-Director Annette Gaudino was formerly Statewide Coordinator for the Campaign for NY Health, where she worked with legislators and coalition partners to successfully pass a universal single-payer health care bill twice in the State Assembly. Annette comes to TAG after four years with ACT UP New York, where she contributed to the their response to the Ebola panic, represented the group in the Safe Injecting Facility (SIF) NYC coalition, and helped connect ACT UP to hepatitis C advocates, leading to the formation of the New York State Hepatitis C Coalition. Annette is honored and excited to join the TAG team.

Incoming TAG HCV Project Co-Director Bryn Gay has focused on developing policy tools on intellectual property for developing countries and on access to affordable, life-saving medicines, working with the United Nations Development Programme in Colombo and Bangkok. With Médecins du Monde, Bryn managed health care programs within refugee and displaced communities in Western Sahara and Haïti. In Cité Soleil, Haïti, she mobilized an emergency response to cholera. Bryn’s HIV and hepatitis C advocacy with ACT UP New York has focused on challenging high medicines prices; bridging strategies to mitigate LGBTQ youth homelessness and end AIDS in New York by 2020; and pushing for drug policy reforms.

“TAG is excited to have two such passionate and accomplished activists joining our HCV Project as Co-Directors,” said TAG Board President Barbara Hughes. “With up to four million Americans and over 150 million people worldwide living with chronic HCV infection, which is a leading killer of people with HIV and others worldwide, there is no time to lose in mobilizing political will, resources, and allies to ensure scale-up for curative HCV treatments everywhere and to reduce drug prices so that all may benefit from new all-oral short-course HCV cures.”

TAG Executive Director Mark Harrington said, “We welcome Annette Gaudino and Bryn Gay to TAG, where they will build upon the extraordinary legacy of Tracy Swan and Karyn Kaplan.”

In her 13 years as HCV Project Director, Tracy Swan became the world’s leading HCV treatment activist. Her prodigious knowledge of and influence on HCV treatment research has accelerated HCV treatment revolution. In 2012, Karyn Kaplan joined TAG as International Hepatitis/HIV Policy & Advocacy Director. Together, Tracy and Karyn helped spearhead a global HCV treatment activist movement.

“Many activists make a difference,” said Harrington. “Tracy Swan and Karyn Kaplan made history. Their HCV work with TAG remains among our proudest accomplishments. We congratulate Tracy Swan on her new role as a member of the communications team at the MSF Access to Essential Medicines Campaign and Karyn Kaplan as the Executive Director at Asia Catalyst, and [we] look forward to their continued leadership in health and human rights.”


Brief Bio – Annette Gaudino

Annette Gaudino was formerly Statewide Coordinator for the Campaign for NY Health, where she worked with legislators and coalition partners to successfully pass a universal single-payer health care bill twice in the State Assembly. Annette comes to TAG after four years with ACT UP New York, where she contributed to the their response to the Ebola panic, represented the group in the Safe Injecting Facility (SIF) NYC coalition, and helped connect ACT UP to hepatitis C advocates, leading to the formation of the NY State Hepatitis C Coalition. Annette is honored and excited to join the TAG team. She has over 25 years of direct action organizing experience in the HIV/AIDS, LGBT, women's, and harm reduction movements. Becoming politically active in college, Annette arrived in San Francisco in early 1991, where she immediately became active in ACT UP and Queer Nation and emerged as a leader in the Women's Action Coalition (WAC). Through her work at the Institute for Community Health Outreach, the California state-funded training center for peer community health outreach, Annette learned the history of drug prohibition from harm reduction pioneers and an ethnographic, participant observer approach to behavioral intervention. She served on the organizing committee for the San Francisco Dyke March, at the time a non-permitted march and street party with over 50,000 participants at its peak. Annette has worked in stem cell research as a lab technician, and she provided rehabilitation to patients as a licensed speech and swallowing therapist, where she gained insight into the role of payers in clinical care and access. In 2011, she was drawn to the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement, where she became a key member of Health Care for the 99%, a working group of OWS focusing on medical debt, ultimately resulting in the purchase and elimination of millions in debts. Since 2012, Annette has been an active member of ACT UP New York, where she was instrumental in organizing their 25th Anniversary Action in collaboration with OWS. Annette has been a key member of the facilitation committee of ACT UP; helped lead their response to the Ebola panic; represents the group in the SIF NYC Coalition, which is working to bring safe injection facilities to New York; and connected ACT UP to hepatitis C advocates, leading to the formation of the New York State Hepatitis C Coalition. Annette also actively reached out to leading advocates for drug pricing transparency and reform, including TAG, to educate and strategize demands and actions challenging the current drug development regime. Annette brings keen political instincts and a commitment to work in partnership with those directly impacted by disease and poverty to build a world where health care is recognized—and funded—as a public good and a human right guaranteed to all. 

Brief Bio – Bryn Gay

Incoming TAG HCV Project Co-Director Bryn Gay has over 15 years of health and human rights advocacy experience, focusing on inclusion of marginalized groups and overcoming health care barriers in developing countries. Starting as a student organizer against imbalanced trade agreements, with War on Want/Stamp Out Poverty she campaigned for a Robin Hood-like tax to finance the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Following her graduate studies in globalization at McMaster University, Bryn focused on developing policy tools on intellectual property for developing countries and on access to affordable, lifesaving medicines at The North-South Institute in Ottawa. With the United Nations Development Programme in Colombo and Bangkok, she provided research and policy support to 24 country offices in the Asia-Pacific region related to access to medicines, financing biomedical research and development, generic manufacturing, and material transfer agreements, among other issues. Bryn balanced this policy work with field-level coordination, and with Médecins du Monde, she managed health care programs within refugee and displaced communities in Western Sahara and Haïti. In Cité Soleil, Haïti, she mobilized an emergency response to cholera, using a community health model to promote prevention and early treatment, as well as supervised HIV, maternal health, and family planning programs to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission. Bryn’s HIV and hepatitis C advocacy with ACT UP in New York has focused on challenging high medicines prices and failures in the R&D system; bridging strategies to mitigate LGBTQ youth homelessness and end AIDS in New York by 2020; and pushing for drug policy reforms using public health approaches. She is also a keen advocate for expanding the social and solidarity economy.