The Harvard AIDS Institute was established in 1988 by Harvard University President Derek Bok and Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) Dean Harvey Fineberg. Initial seed funding for HAI was provided by the office of the President Bok and the offices of the Dean of HSPH and the Dean of Harvard Medical School (HMS). Additional seed funding came from Professor Max Essex’s and HSPH patent royalties for the widely-used HIV-blood screening test that was developed from the research conducted by Essex and his colleague, Dr. Tun-Hou Lee.
Max Essex was named Chair of HAI and has been so every since. HAI focused on innovative, cutting edge research concerning the pathogenesis of the AIDS virus and the dynamics of the epidemic.
As the number of AIDS cases continued to escalate disproportionately in Africa and other resource scarce settings, HAI directed its research efforts toward developing prevention and treatment strategies to stem the epidemic in these regions. International partnerships were created with on-the-ground efforts with specific countries affected by the epidemic, including Thailand, Senegal, Botswana, Nigeria, Tanzania, and South Africa.
Staff at Harvard AIDS Initiative have experience in