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TAG at Ten: The Year 2001

April 2003

January: TAG's Gregg Gonsalves becomes GMHC Director of Treatment Policy. Completion of STI Workshop 2000 report. FDA hearing on salvage therapy trial design. Merck meeting on promising DNA/adenovirus HIV vaccine. TAG mobilizes 600 signatures on global letter to Glaxo decrying its efforts to block generic drug access in Africa. NIH hearing on long-term effectiveness research.

February: TAG cosponsors community meetings on long-term effectiveness and on a new AIDS Treatment Activists Coalition (ATAC). At Retrovirus, Jeffrey Sachs proposes a massive new program to support AIDS treatment globally. This will become the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria.

March: Global day of solidarity with South Africa on access to affordable medicines. TAG interviews NIH staff for OAR report. ACT UP/Philadelphia demonstration in D.C. against the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers' Association (PhRMA). Activist/drug industry meeting over prices, patents, access.

April: Mark Harrington attends WHO/WTO meeting in Norway on "Differential Pricing and Financing of Essential Drugs" and (along with representative from Médecins Sans Frontières) meets with Merck on global treatment access.

May: Mark attends first World Health Organization (WHO) meeting to develop guidelines for using antiretroviral therapy in resource-poor settings. Senator Jim Jeffords bolts Republican Party due to its extreme domestic policies.

June: Activist/PWA Linda Grinberg diagnosed with primary pulmonary hypertension (PPH). TAG meets with African NGOs before the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on HIV/AIDS in New York. The ensuing Global Declaration of Commitment seems likely to be honored in the breach.

July: First International AIDS Society (IAS) meeting on HIV Pathogenesis and Treatment, Buenos Aires.

August: Gilead community meeting on tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (Viread), a nucleotide analogue. Twenty-three activists from around the country meet in Houston to found the AIDS Treatment Activists Coalition (ATAC). Richard Jefferys agrees to become TAG's first full-time Basic Science Project Director.

September: AIDS vaccine conference, Philadelphia. Terrorist attacks bring down NYC's World Trade Center. GMHC's Gregg Gonsalves and TAG's Michael Marco are stranded in Kampala (Uganda).

October: FDA hearing on tenofovir. TAG recommends approval, as does the Antiviral Drug Advisory Committee. HHS Guidelines panel debates "When to start?," inching towards a CD4 count threshold of 200. U.S. starts bombing Afghanistan. FDA grants Gilead accelerated approval for tenofovir.

November: Billionaire Michael Bloomberg elected mayor of New York City. Taliban abandons Kabul.

December: Fifth annual Research in Action awards honor pediatrician Art Ammann, writer Michael Cunningham and activist Gregg Gonsalves. The New York Times reports AIDS deaths in New York City have fallen from 6,756 in 1994 to 232 in 2001.

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