Dear Friend of TAG:
Since January 1992, TAG has focused on accelerating research to end the interrelated pandemics of HIV, hepatitis C virus (HCV), and tuberculosis (TB), and to eradicate the global health inequities which drive these pandemics. Here’s a look at some of our work in 2022.
TAG works to overcome barriers to universal access to high-quality HIV prevention and treatment domestically and globally. In 2022, we joined partners in advocating for a National PrEP Program, raised the profile of PrEP in Black America, published a special issue of TAGline focusing on pandemic equity, and looked back at the evolution of community involvement in AIDS clinical trials. We published new work highlighting persistent disparities in enrollment of women in HIV cure-related clinical trials, and we continued pushing for equity in enrolling women, people of color, adolescents, children, and infants in research on HIV, TB, and HCV.
In the past three years we saw a recrudescence of disparities which drive bad outcomes in HIV, TB, and HCV, first with COVID-19 illness, then with SARS-CoV-2 vaccination, and most recently with mpox (formerly known as monkeypox) — each pandemic unveiled harsh truths about the pervasive inequities and injustices that plague our world.
TAG has continually fought to change these harsh truths. While continuing to educate communities about ongoing HIV vaccine research, we also successfully advocated for the inclusion of people living with HIV in the earliest SARS-CoV-2 vaccine studies, allowing early access to the vaccines for people with immune suppression. This year we worked with NYC, New York State, the White House, and community-based advocates and organizations to accelerate equitable mpox vaccine distribution and demand more effective, comprehensive research and prevention plans to address the global mpox outbreak, which has affected thousands from May 2022 to now, disproportionately people living with HIV and communities of color.
This year we also launched a campaign to speed availability and access to safer, shorter TB curative regimens. We worked with global activists to secure cheaper access to new long-acting injectable prevention (PrEP) treatment. And we continued our work helping communities affected by hepatitis C to access cheaper, better tests and cures.
As we look back, we mourn the losses of some giants in our movement, such as Dr. Paul Farmer, founder of Partners in Health; Dr. Dawn Smith and Janet Cleveland, two fierce champions of HIV health equity who worked in the Division of HIV Prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and we note with sorrow the retirement of our long-time ally Dr. Anthony S. Fauci as Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
We couldn’t do our work without the dedicated support of people like you. From all of us at TAG, thank you so much for your support, and please consider donating again to power us into 2023 and beyond.
Yours in the struggle,
HIV Project Director