Treatment Action Group

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Treatment Action Group (TAG) is a U.S.-based organization that has been prominent within the movement of HIV/AIDS activism. Being formed in 1991, it has possessed the goals of working with worldwide efforts to increase research on treatments for HIV and for deadly co-infections that affect individuals with HIV, such as hepatitis C and tuberculosis, as well as spur on greater access to and efficient usage of already available treatments. The group additionally monitors research on a possible HIV vaccine and on fundamental science aimed at understanding the pathogenesis of HIV/AIDS.


The Treatment Action Group had its origins in the AIDS activist organization, ACT UP New York. In January 1992, members of the Treatment and Data Committee of ACT UP left the parent group to create a non-profit organization focused on accelerating treatment research.[1][2]

During the early 1990s, TAG members, including Mark Harrington and Spencer Cox, advocated with government scientists, drug company researchers, and U.S. Food and Drug Administration officials to speed the development of new HIV therapies.[3] The group produced an influential policy report on government investment in basic science, which recommended increasing funding to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and reorganizing the national AIDS research effort.

Following approval of several effective antiretroviral drugs in 1995, Treatment Action Group pressed government and industry to conduct research to understand the long-term effects of the new drugs.[4]

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.[5]

Mission statement[edit]

Treatment Action Group's mission statement describes the group as: “an independent AIDS research and policy think tank fighting for better treatment, a vaccine, and a cure for AIDS."

TAG works to ensure that all people with HIV receive life saving treatment, care, and information. We are science-based treatment activists working to expand and accelerate vital research and effective community engagement with research and policy institutions. TAG catalyzes open collective action by all affected communities, scientists, and policymakers to end AIDS.[6]

TAG in the media[edit]

TAG's September 1991 demonstration at the home of Senator Jesse Helms was documented in Robert Hilferty's film I Wrapped a Giant Condom Over Jesse Helms' House.[7][8]

The relationship between TAG and ACT UP is also discussed in the 2012 documentary How to Survive a Plague.[9]


  1. ^ Harrington, Mark. Interview with Sarah Schulman and Jim Hubbard. ACTUP Oral History Project. 16 February 2005. MIX: The New York Lesbian & Gay Experimental Film Festival. 11 December 2005 <>.
  2. ^ TAG at 10: 1992 < Archived 2007-09-28 at the Wayback Machine>.
  3. ^ Kolata, Gina (12 September 1994). "F.D.A. Debate on Speedy Access to AIDS Drugs Is Reopening". New York Times. Retrieved 22 September 2015.
  4. ^ TAG at 10 Timeline <"Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-05-06.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)>.
  5. ^ TAG TB/HIV Press Release < "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-07-03. Retrieved 2007-05-06.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)>
  6. ^ About TAG <"Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-04-05. Retrieved 2007-05-06.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)>.
  7. ^ Gay City News
  8. ^ New Yorker magazine
  9. ^ The Huffington Post

External links[edit]