Mark Harrington

Mark Harrington is a co-founder and Executive Director of TAG, the Treatment Action Group. He was born in San Francisco, graduated from Harvard College in 1983, moved to New York in 1987, and joined ACT UP/New York, the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, in 1998. He helped strategize and lead ACT UP’s campaigns -against the FDA, the NIH, and the drug companies - to speed up development, approval, access, and information on new treatments for HIV/AIDS and its opportunistic infections. When ACT UP’s Treatment + Data Committee left ACT UP to form TAG in 1992, at the Amsterdam AIDS conference in 1992, he showed the scientists photos from his own HIV-infected lymph node and called for accelerated efforts by scientists to understand the pathogenesis of how HIV causes AIDS. Simultaneously, TAG’s critical review of the NIH AIDS program called for sweeping reorganization under a strong Office of AIDS Research (OAR), in recommendations which were incorporated by Congress in the NIH Revitalizaiton Act of 1993, passed by Congress, and signed by President Clinton in 1993. AIDS research funds increased substantially and helped support many discoveries in basic science which are leading the way to drugs, vaccines, and microbicides for tomorrow. In 1996 Harrington wrote "Viral Load in Vancouver" on the treatment advances which paved the way for highly active antiretroviral therapy. Harrington has been on many advisory committees to FDA and NIH and currently serves on the US panel on adult and adolescent antiretroviral treatment guidelines. In 1997 Harrington received a MacArthur Fellowship for his AIDS treatment activist work. In 2000, Harrington co-wrote the review article "Hit HIV-1 hard, but only when necessary" with Charles C.J. Carpenter M.D., in The Lancet (355, 17 June 2000) Since 2000, TAG has worked with global activist colleagues on international AIDS treatment scale-up and treatment preparedness. Since 2002, TAG has developed a global network of activists fighting TB, the leading infectious cause of AIDS related mortality. Harrington co-wrote the US and World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines for antiretroviral therapy for adults and adolescents, and serves on many advisory bodies to the WHO HIV/AIDS and TB programs. Mark lives in New York City.

University Programs and Events Planning Resources, June 2006