History

When CRI was established in 1989, AZT was the only antiretroviral drug available to people living with HIV/AIDS. Today, there are more than 30 FDA-approved HIV antiretroviral drugs, and CRI’s clinical research has contributed to the FDA's approval of nearly all of them.

As part of CRI’s mission to give people living with HIV access to the highest-quality treatments, CRI has operated the Massachusetts HIV Drug Assistance Program (HDAP) since 1990. HDAP is a program of the Office of HIV/AIDS of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and currently enrolls more than 8,700 clients, ensuring that medications and health insurance are available to HIV-positive individuals in need across Massachusetts.

In 2013, CRI began addressing another urgent need in the HIV community: effective treatment of hepatitis C (HCV). An estimated 25 percent of individuals living with HIV in the U.S. are also infected with HCV, an infectious disease of the liver that attacks the body in similar ways as HIV. CRI lent its nearly 25 years of HIV treatment expertise to research how to treat HCV mono-infection, and then moved on to research whether the same treatment would be effective in individuals co-infected with HCV and HIV. The striking results of both studies showed that most people can be cured of HCV in as little as eight weeks with a single pill, taken once a day.

HDAP created the BRIDGE (Benefits Resources Infectious Disease Guidance and Engagement) Team in 2014. BRIDGE provides training and technical assistance to both clients and providers as they navigate the often-confusing array of health insurance coverage options.

In 2017, CRI began two pilot initiatives: The PrEP Drug Assistance Program (PrEPDAP) and the TB Drug Assistance Program (TBDAP), both funded by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. PrEPDAP assists those who are HIV-negative and in need of pre-exposure prophylaxis; TBDAP assists state residents with tuberculosis who need assistance paying for treatment access their medication in an affordable manner. Along with HDAP, the overarching program is referred to as the Infectious Disease Drug Assistance Program (IDDAP).