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2018 Annual Report Message

2018_ar_cover_final_612x792.pngAs you'll see in our most recent Annual Report, 2018 was a year of passionate struggle and remarkable victories for TAG and for people affected by HIV, hepatitis C (HCV) and tuberculosis (TB). The political threats to our society’s integrity that we all see and feel daily – racism, xenophobia, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, indifference, and ignorance – converge with laser focus to threaten progress against the epidemics we are fighting.

In the face of these ongoing struggles in the U.S. and around the world, TAG defended important ground and achieved major progress. In New York, we helped secure the first-ever commitment to end HCV in a U.S. state. TAG’s Ending the HIV Epidemic campaign continues, leading to a significant decline in new HIV infections among gay men in New York State. A TAG-led coalition to fight rising rates of TB in New York City achieved a nearly 28% increase to the City’s support for TB programs. We worked with partners in several of the hardest-hit Southern states to develop plans to end the HIV epidemic in their jurisdictions, inspired by and adapted from our work in New York. With the Act Now, End AIDS coalition TAG co-founded, we led the development of a national plan for ending the HIV epidemic that integrates elimination strategies for HCV, TB, and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). We championed key legislation to protect health equity, successfully advocated for research funding, and helped achieve a large increase in U.S. funding for global TB efforts.

Globally, our efforts were just as pivotal. TAG’s advocacy contributed to an overhaul of the World Health Organization’s TB treatment guidelines: safer, more effective, oral drugs are now the preferred backbone of drug-resistant TB treatment, sparing hundreds of thousands of people painful injections and hearing loss. With partnerships from Georgia to Malaysia, we kick-started global advocacy to HCV testing to ensure the improvements in treatment reach those in need.

2018 was TAG’s 26th year fighting for people affected by HIV. In just over a quarter of a century, our activism has contributed to amazing advances in HIV treatment and prevention; the advent of safe cures for all strains of hepatitis C; and for tuberculosis, rapid tests, better prevention options, and more effective treatment to combat rising drug resistance. Whether it’s standing up to big pharma to lower prices, providing life-saving information to people affected by the diseases on which we work, or putting our bodies on the line through civil disobedience, we keep both scientific progress and human rights at the core of our mission.

As we reflect on last year, we also look ahead – to the fight for a more ambitious and comprehensive national initiative to end HIV, to pivotal U.S. elections in 2020, and to unprecedented opportunity to end the HIV, HCV, and TB epidemics. TAG will do whatever it takes to get there, and your support makes our progress possible. Please consider renewing or increasing your support for TAG!

Yours in the struggle,

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Mark Harrington
Executive Director

 

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Erica Lessem
Deputy Executive Director for Programs