HIV PROJECT DESCRIPTION
In 2015, approximately 36.7 million people were living with HIV, 2.1 million became newly infected, and at least1.1 million people worldwide died of HIV disease. This immense public health failure can be attributed to a dense web of medical, political, and economic problems. The vast majority of the world’s people living with HIV reside in developing countries where many obstacles prevent the widespread distribution of HIV drugs. But even the most effective existing drugs have shortcomings, and people living with HIV everywhere need better treatment strategies and, ultimately, a cure – one that can be used worldwide to end the epidemic along with a safe and effective HIV vaccine. TAG’s HIV Project reviews the state of research on antiretroviral drug discovery, development, dissemination, and postmarketing surveillance. The HIV Project advocates for accelerated access to treatments; innovation in the development of treatments that are active against drug-resistant HIV; and development of HIV treatments that are easier to take, associated with fewer side effects, and affordable to health care systems and people living with HIV.
TAG’s HIV Project works with community members, scientists, and policy makers to enhance public understanding of the science of HIV infection, address gaps in HIV research, critique research efforts, and foster cross-disciplinary collaborations with the aim of accelerating research on HIV pathogenesis and the development of effective immune-based therapies and preventive technologies, with a particular focus on research advocacy around a cure for HIV. Project staff also works on domestic and international treatment guidelines to ensure that formulary determinations and prescribing practices are driven by sound scientific data.
The HIV Project tracks and analyzes resources devoted to HIV prevention and combined prevention technologies. The project advocates for local, state, and national agencies and AIDS service organizations to have increased awareness of current prevention tools, along with myriad structural barriers slowing their uptake, in order to stop transmission of HIV and thus end the epidemic. Project members worked on New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Ending the Epidemic Task Force, which developed a statewide plan end AIDS as an epidemic in New York State by the end of 2020. This effort is part of a broader project by community activists, policy makers, advocates, and researchers to end the epidemic by stemming new infections and ensuring that HIV-positive people receive care, are retained in active care, and remain virally suppressed. TAG’s HIV Project recently completed a landmark review of the mechanisms and barriers of effective community mobilization in nine heavily affected metropolitan areas, which will serve as a cornerstone of TAG’s work to strengthen and support local advocacy in the years ahead.
Finally, the HIV Project works with global and domestic partners for universal access to high-quality HIV prevention, treatment, and care programs.