Our History

In 2002, President Clinton launched the Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative (CHAI) to bring care and treatment to people living with HIV/AIDS and to strengthen health systems in resource-poor countries. Over the past few years, we have expanded our work to increasing access to high-quality treatment for malaria, accelerating the rollout of new vaccines, and lowering infant mortality in the countries in which we work.

In 2010, CHAI became a nonprofit organization separate from the William J. Clinton Foundation and changed its name to Clinton Health Access Initiative to reflect its broader focus on these new areas. Today, CHAI partners with governments in more than 25 countries and has dedicated teams on the ground in all. More than 70 countries directly benefit from the low-priced drug and diagnostic test agreements that we have negotiated.

Below are some of the key dates and accomplishments in CHAI’s history.

July 2002

President Clinton addresses the International AIDS Society in Barcelona, along with President Nelson Mandela. President Clinton set the agenda for his foundation’s emerging efforts in the HIV/AIDS community, saying:

“We cannot lose the war on AIDS and win our battles to reduce poverty, promote stability, advance democracy and increase peace and prosperity.”

October 2002

The Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative is created and forms teams of volunteers and AIDS care partners to create comprehensive care and treatment plans in six locations: Rwanda, Mozambique, Tanzania, Haiti, the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States, and the Dominican Republic.

October 2003

President Clinton announces a price reduction in first line drug regimens of up to 50 percent, the first major price reduction in antiretroviral medicines (ARVs) negotiated by CHAI with generic drug companies.

November 2003

President Clinton speaks at the first public meeting in China dealing with the AIDS pandemic, and hugs Pengfei Song, a young HIV-positive university student. This event is credited with beginning China’s process of coming to terms with its AIDS problem.

January 2004

CHAI and President Clinton announce the first major price reduction in diagnostic testing costs as a result of CHAI's negotiations with three major equipment companies, cutting the costs of CD4 tests by up to 80 percent from market prices in 2003.

May 2005

CHAI launches our Pediatric AIDS Initiative, and sets a goal to put 10,000 new children on treatment by the end of the year. This goal is met, and a new goal of putting 100,000 new pediatric patients on treatment is set for 2006, which is achieved 18 months later. Today, more than 350,000 children are on treatment.

September 2006

CHAI becomes a major partner in UNITAID, a new organization whose mission is to change the market dynamics for medicines, commodities, and diagnostics by increasing demand to drive price reductions. They choose CHAI to lead efforts in pediatric and second line ARVs and begin an expansion that eventually leads to a total of 34 countries and more than 300,000 children receiving medicines, diagnostics, and therapeutic food.

July 2007

President Clinton launches the pilot malaria treatment subsidy outside of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. The positive results of that program were pivotal in the approval and launch of the global malaria treatment subsidy—the Affordable Medicines Facility-malaria (AMFm)—which CHAI has helped roll out in nine high-burden countries. As of August 2010 the first malaria medicines supported by the AMFm arrive in developing countries (Ghana and Kenya) at prices more than 80 percent below previous levels. In total, more than 150 million treatments were ordered in the first nine months of the initiative.

April 2009

President Clinton announces that 5.2 million patients in the developing world are now receiving HIV treatment, a 25-fold increase from the 200,000 people on antiretroviral therapies in 2003.

January 2010

CHAI becomes an independent 501(c)(3) and changes its name to Clinton Health Access Initiative to reflect our expanded programmatic scope.

April 2010

CHAI partners with the South African government to undertake the largest expansion of HIV testing and AIDS treatment ever attempted in the world. In December, a tender for ARVs prepared with CHAI’s assistance projects savings of $700 million over two years, which will allow more than a million new patients to receive treatment within the country’s existing AIDS budget.

May 2011

CHAI announces the latest set of price reductions. Nearly four million people have benefitted from these reduced-price medicines since CHAI’s inception in 2002. Since 2006, CHAI has achieved 50 to 90 percent reductions in the prices of key antiretroviral drug regimens, which have yielded more than $1 billion in cost savings and enabled significant scale-up of treatment programs.