Mission & History



We believe in a world without HIV. 


ACRIA envisions a world where all people with HIV receive the treatment, care, and support they need to lead healthy, productive lives and where new transmissions of the virus have been eliminated.


In 1991, a group of physicians, activists, and people with HIV, tired of the slow pace of government-sponsored and academic research, took action. Under the leadership of prominent doctors and researchers, these men and women brought the first-ever activist, community-based approach to the study of new treatments for the disease. Since then, ACRIA’s Robert Mapplethorpe Clinical Trials Program has contributed to the development of a remarkable 20 medicines that have gone on to receive FDA approval.


Today, ACRIA also studies the lives and needs of people with or at risk for HIV through its Behavioral Research Program; offers critical HIV healthcare education to HIV-positive people and their caregivers all around the world through its HIV Health Literacy Program; and provides a variety of consulting services (technical assistance, monitoring and evaluation, curriculum development, and web-based learning among them) to strengthen AIDS and other service organizations across the country, enabling those groups to better serve their own clients.  Additionally, through the ACRIA Center on HIV & Aging, the organization is recognized as an international authority on the emerging issue of older adults and HIV. 


Since its inception—and through the generosity of founding Board members including Ross Bleckner, Bob Colacello, Michael Goff, Carolina & Reinaldo Herrera, Terrence McNally, and David Seidner—ACRIA has received unparalleled support from the worlds of fashion, art, media, and design.  This truly unique relationship continues today through partnerships with industry leaders such as Architectural Digest, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, ELLE Decor, InStyle, Jeffrey Fashion Cares, Donna Karan, Calvin Klein Inc., the MAC AIDS Fund, the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, the Herb Ritts Foundation, Vanity Fair, and Vogue, among many others.   


The mission that informs and guides all of ACRIA’s programs—and has animated the creative communities to action on our behalf—is a truly inspired one:  to pioneer the newest HIV health education and therapies, and get that information and those drugs into the hands of the people who need them the most.  


Together, we can end AIDS.  Join us!