Four-year project to strengthen TAG’s efforts to accelerate search for immune-based HIV therapies, vaccines, microbides, and a cure
New York City, December 1, 2005 – The Treatment Action Group (TAG) announced today on World AIDS Day the establishment of the Michael Palm HIV Pathogenesis and Prevention Research Project. The Project will work to strengthen basic science, immunology, and biomedical HIV prevention research efforts directed at clarifying understanding of how HIV destroys the immune system, how to develop effective immune-based therapy strategies, and how to develop biomedical preventive approaches such as vaccines, microbicides, and treatments to prevent HIV infection pre- and postexposure. The Michael Palm HIV Pathogenesis and Prevention Research Project is supported by a four-year, $1 million grant from the Michael Palm Foundation. HIV is the world’s leading infectious cause of illness and death. UNAIDS estimates that over the past year, five million people were infected by HIV and that 3.1 million people died of AIDS.
“The Michael Palm HIV Pathogenesis and Prevention Research Project will help TAG strengthen our advocacy for intensified, accelerated research to unlock the mysteries of how HIV destroys the immune system and to discover more effective immune-based treatment strategies, as well as effective vaccines, microbicides, and other biomedical prevention tools,” said TAG Executive Director Mark Harrington. “Despite over two decades years of research, the AIDS pandemic continues to outpace the best efforts of researchers worldwide. HIV research funding levels are stagnant in the United States, a dangerous situation which threatens to delay the search for a cure and a vaccine.”
“We are excited to be able to provide sustained support for TAG’s unique and vital work in AIDS research advocacy,” said Melissa Jamula, Michael Palm’s sister, who chairs the Foundation’s board. “My brother well understood the need for strong, independent AIDS community groups to serve as watchdogs and catalysts for faster, more effective research to improve treatments, ultimately leading to a cure and a vaccine for HIV/AIDS.”
Palm Foundation Board member Gene Falk, a long time friend who collaborated with Palm on his advocacy and philanthropy, added, “Michael was an early supporter of TAG’s work and a longtime believer in its effectiveness. In fact, on this tenth anniversary of Michael’s first major gift to TAG, it is so appropriate that one of the final grants from the foundation Michael started will allow TAG to pursue this critical project.”
TAG will use the grant from the Michael Palm Foundation to intensify its advocacy efforts on improving HIV pathogenesis and immunology research, and to accelerate the development of safe and effective immune-based therapies, vaccines,microbicides, and other tools to treat, prevent, and cure HIV infection.
Treatment Action Group (TAG), founded in 1992 and based in New York City, fights to find a cure for AIDS and to ensure that all people living with HIV receive the necessary treatment, care and information they need to save their lives. TAG focuses on the AIDS research effort, both public and private, the drug development process, and the U.S. and global health care delivery systems. TAG meets with researchers, industry, government officials, global public health experts and advocates from AIDS organizations around the world to ensure broader, faster access to good AIDS research and effective treatment programs. Committed to working for and with all communities affected by HIV, TAG is a tax-exempt non-profit 501 ( c ) 3 organization.
The Michael Palm Foundation, founded by New York businessman and philanthropist Michael Palm, supports an array of non-profit groups, including AIDS advocacy and service organizations, community development groups, gay and lesbian rights organizations, and provides support for young musicians. Michael Palm was a major benefactor of Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC), Treatment Action Group (TAG) and a number of other organizations. Michael Palm died of AIDS-related complications in 1998.