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Treatment Action Group had its origins in the AIDS activist organization, ACT UP (the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power). In January 1992, members of the Treatment and Data Committee of ACT UP left the parent group to create a nonprofit organization focused on accelerating treatment research.

During the early 1990s, TAG members advocated with government scientists, drug company researchers, and FDA officials to speed the development of new HIV therapies. The group produced an influential policy report on government investment in basic science, which recommended increasing funding to the U.S. National Institutes of Health and reorganizing the national AIDS research effort.

Following approval of several effective antiretroviral drugs in 1995, TAG pressed the government and the pharmaceutical industry to conduct research to understand the long-term effects of the new drugs.

In 2002, TAG began raising awareness of the impact that tuberculosis (TB) was having on people with HIV in the developing world. In 2007, the organization received a $4.7 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to foster increased international advocacy on TB/HIV research and treatment.

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