• magnet building 2003
  • 1035 market st exterior
  • twin peaks ribbon
  • 1035 market st exterior

MYSTERIOUS OUTBREAK, 1982

Little was known about the mysterious disease outbreak plaguing gay men in San Francisco.
In the Castro, men gather around one of the many public fliers posted around the community raising awareness about basic AIDS medical information and referral services for those seemingly most at risk in San Francisco: gay and bisexual men. Today we continue to confront HIV in populations most impacted by the disease through education, advocacy, and free direct local services.

Photo by Rink Foto.

KS Office door

HUMBLE BEGINNINGS, 1982

San Francisco AIDS Foundation, then known as Kaposi's Sarcoma Foundation, opens in a small office space on Castro Street and becomes the second HIV service agency of its kind in the United States. Today, the foundation serves tens of thousands of clients annually with services and care in neighborhoods hard hit by HIV/AIDS.

Photo by Mick Hicks.

gay halth crisis

GAY HEALTH CRISIS, 1982

Educating and empowering HIV-positive and at-risk members of the community has always been essential to our mission. We've continued this work through our forum series, as well as by publishing BETA, our newsletter covering the latest in treatment issues.

Flyer from San Francisco AIDS Foundation archives.

gay pride parade

GAY PRIDE, 1983

Volunteers march and distribute education literature and condoms at the Gay & Lesbian Freedom Day Parade. Today, San Francisco AIDS Foundation continues the tradition by distributing more than 800,000 condoms annually and taking part in San Francisco Pride and other street fairs.

Photo by Mick Hicks.

poster man holding candle

FIGHTING FOR OUR LIVES MARCH, 1983

San Francisco AIDS Foundation, then known as AIDS & Kaposi's Sarcoma Foundation, sponsors a vigil which starts in the Castro neighborhood - marking the first time people with AIDS have come together in a public demonstration.
Today, community events such as AIDS Walk and Dining Out for Life bring together thousands of people to unite them behind a common cause: to end HIV/AIDS.

Photo by Mick Hicks.

AIDS CANDLELIGHT MARCH, 1983

Thousands of people march down Market Street from the Castro carrying a banner that says "FIGHTING FOR OUR LIVES." It is one the first public demonstrations of people with AIDS and raises critical awareness about the disease in the very early days of the epidemic.

Photo by Mick Hicks.

MAYORAL PROCLAMATION, 1983

Mayor Dianne Feinstein recognizes and commends San Francisco AIDS Foundation board members for their dedication and commitment to fighting HIV/AIDS. Today, our policy experts give a powerful voice to all people at risk for or living with HIV at every level of government.

Photo by Mick Hicks.

flyer bartenders against aids

BARTENDERS AGAINST AIDS, 1985

San Francisco AIDS Foundation enlists the help of bartenders to share safer sex information with patrons in this innovative education program which takes advantage of the social role bars play in the gay community. Today the foundations continues to meet at-risk folks where they're at, through our outreach programs under Stonewall, Stop AIDS, and Magnet.

Photos courtesy of UCSF Archives & Special Collections.

brochure stacks

READ, READ, READ, 1985

San Francisco AIDS Foundation produces the first brochure in the nation about women and AIDS. Today we continue to be a leading source of HIV information with our Bulletin of Experimental Treatment for AIDS (BETA) publication, which covers new developments in HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, and research. In 2012, BETA relaunched as a blog.

Photo courtesy of UCSF Archives & Special Collections.

BIKE-A-THON, 1985

Before California AIDS Ride and AIDS/LifeCycle, Different Spokes host the first AIDS bike-a-thon. Sixty-six cyclists ride their bikes from San Francisco to Russian River, raising an unprecedented $33,000 to fight AIDS. Today AIDS/LifeCycle - the seven-day, 545-milebike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles - is the largest annual HIV/AIDS fundraiser in the world.

Photo courtesy of UCSF Archives & Special Collections.

RUN FOR LIFE, 1986

Whether it's running, walking, or cycling, thousands of supporters have banded together throughout the foundation's history to raise critical funds and draw together diverse communities for a single purpose: to end HIV/AIDS.

Photo by Mick Hicks.

STOP LAROUCHE INITIATIVE, 1986

San Francisco AIDS Foundation along with other supporters successfully advocate against Proposition 64, also known as the LaRouche Initiative, a fear-based initiative that would have restored AIDS to the list of communicable disease and forced HIV-positive individuals into quarantine. We always support AIDS policy guided by science, not fear. To become part of our grassroots advocacy efforts, join the HIV Advocacy Network. http://www.sfaf.org/policy-center/hiv-advocacy-network/ Photo courtesy of UCSF Archives & Special Collections

CELEBRITY CHAMPION, 1987

Executive director Tim Wolfred (left) stands with Elizabeth Taylor (center) at a local fundraising event. Elizabeth Taylor's advocacy and fundraising efforts spanned the world and included several visits to San Francisco to headline the Macy's Passport fundraiser for HIV/AIDS.

You too can make an important difference in the fight against HIV/AIDS by donating your time, talents and resources. Get Involved!

Photo courtesy of UCSF Archives & Special Collections.

AIDS WALK SAN FRANCISCO, 1987

Kaposi's sarcoma was first discovered in an AIDS patient in San Francisco in 1980. The cancerous tumor that causes lesions would later become synonymous with AIDS. The brave man pictured in this photo joined the very first AIDS Walk San Francisco in Golden Gate Park in July 1987. He was among 6,000 walkers to participate in the inaugural event. The walk starts a movement in community activisim that lives on today. AIDS Walk now draws tens of thousands of participants annually, raising millions of dollars for life saving HIV/AIDS prevention and care services throughout the Bay Area. Photographer unknown.

FOOD BANK, 1988

A modest holiday food drive unexpectedly spawns the Food Bank, the first of its kind in San Francisco. At its peak, the service delivers more than 24,000 bags of groceries to HIV-positive people in just one year. Today, our care services include housing assistance, medical case management, peer advocacy, and financial benefits counseling.

Photo courtesy of UCSF Archives & Special Collections.

JACK TOWNSEND, 1988

Jack Townsend (pictured) is one of the honorees at San Francisco AIDS Foundation's first annual Leadership Recognition Dinner, which honors the outstanding work of members of our community to fight HIV/AIDS. He is awarded posthumously for his work with the AIDS Hotline. Other honorees include KPIX-TV for its Lifeline series, and Dr. Selma Dritz for alerting the medical community to the dangers posed by the virus. This year to honor the foundation's 30th anniversary, instead of our traditional Leadership Recognition Dinner, we will host a community tribute event in the fall.

Photo courtesy of UCSF Archives & Special Collections

NEEDLE EXCHANGE, 1988

Volunteers provide clean syringes in exchange for dirty ones, as well as other safer injection supplies. The needle exchange program began in the city when a group of people recognized they needed to do something to stop the spread of HIV among injection drug users. Acting against the law, they created Prevention Point�an all-volunteer, street-based operation. Today, this program exists today as Syringe Access Services where over 2.4 million clean needles are distributed.

For more information: http://www.sfaf.org/client-services/health-services/syringe-access/history-of-needle-exchange.html

LIFE, LIBERTY AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS, 1990

Featuring two young gay men draped in an American flag, San Francisco AIDS Foundation promotes a positive, proud outlook toward sexuality and condom use. Today we distribute over 800,000 condoms annually. Produced by San Francisco AIDS Foundation & Haight-Ashbury Free Clinics, Inc., with financial support from the Herman Goldman Foundation.

Photo by Warwick May.

RELIEF, 1990

With programs and services overwhelmed with increasing client caseloads, San Francisco AIDS Foundation realizes that local and state resources will not address the needs of the community. As a result, the foundation plays a leading role in advocating for critical federal funds leading to the passing of landmark legislation of American Disabilities Act to include HIV and the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency (CARE ) Act which provides federal funds for community-based care and treatment services. Today, our policy experts continue to give a powerful voice to all people at risk for or living with HIV at every level of government.

Photo by Mick Hicks.

BE A RUBBERMAN, 1990

San Francisco AIDS Foundation reinforces and supports long term safe sex behavior among gay and bisexual men by idealizing the Rubberman as the everyman role model. In real life, groups of Rubbermen dressed in masks and capes pass out condoms at bars and clubs in popular "bar zaps." Today we focus on gay men's health through Magnet, our gay men's health center in the Castro.

Photo from San Francisco AIDS Foundation archives.

BLEACHMAN, 1990

Bleachman is not your ordinary community speaker or campaign mascot. This costumed superhero dressed as a jug of bleach speaks at a local conference about the success of this innovative HIV prevention campaign which educates intravenous drug users about the benefits of using clean syringes. Today San Francisco AIDS Foundation distributes more than 2.4 million clean syringes annually to stop the spread of HIV and hepatitis C.

Photo from San Francisco AIDS Foundation archives.

HOTLINE, 1991

At its peak, San Francisco AIDS Foundation's hotline is available in three languages English, Spanish and Tagalog and answers over 100,000 calls in a year. Today we provide an array of free informational resources, publications, and public forums to educate our community about HIV prevention, testing, and care.

Photo from San Francisco AIDS Foundation archives.

SEX IS GOOD, 1991

Not everyone is fan of this educational HIV campaign which encourages the general public to practice responsible safe sex behavior and to get tested for HIV and STIs. Shortly after this campaign's release, the Marine Corps demands San Francisco AIDS Foundation to stop running the ad because one of the featured individuals has a Marine Corps emblem tattoo; we refuse.

Photo from San Francisco AIDS Foundation archives.

BE HERE FOR THE CURE, 1992

At a particularly bleak time in the epidemic, the campaign encourages people living with HIV to seek early medical treatment. Today, the foundation advocates for funding, research, and participation in early medical treatment as a proven method to improve health outcomes and reduce new HIV infections.

A collaborative effort of AIDS Project Los Angeles; Northwest AIDS Foundation, Seattle; San Francisco AIDS Foundation; and Whitman-Walker Clinic, Washington, D.C.

BE HERE FOR THE CURE, 1993

Shown at a press conference for the campaign's kickoff, San Francisco AIDS Foundation enlists the help of renowned photographer Annie Leibovitz to take some of the first public portraits of people living with HIV. Today the foundation continues to produce innovative and impactful public health campaigns to educate our community about HIV/AIDS-related issues.

(c) San Francisco AIDS Foundation 1993. Photo by Annie Leibovitz.

HOTLINE, 1995

What starts as a volunteer-operated, single-telephone hotline service grows into an internationally recognized resource for accurate HIV/AIDS information. Today the foundation provides an array of free informational resources, publications, and public forums to educate our community about HIV prevention, testing, and care.

Photo by Susan Vogel

BLACK BROTHERS ESTEEM, 1998

Members of the foundation's Black Brothers Esteem (BBE) program distribute information at a rally on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. African American men who are gay, bisexual, and same-gender loving are at a disproportionately higher risk for HIV infection. BBE works to change that. After 30 years of fighting the HIV/AIDS epidemic, addressing the serious health disparities among minority populations remains a top priority of San Francisco AIDS Foundation.

MAGNET OPENS, 2003

Located in a remodeled storefront on 18th Street, Magnet opens as a gay men’s health center in the heart of the Castro. This UCSF pilot program is a combination free clinic and community center.

Today, Magnet offers more than 12,000 free rapid HIV tests and screenings for other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) annually.

TWEAKER.ORG, 2007

When it was clear that crystal meth was a large community driver for HIV infections among gay men, tweaker.org was created as part of a social marketing campaign to help gay men understand crystal meth and how it affects their sexual risk taking and overall health.

The website first launched in 1997 by STOP AIDS Project, and then was revitalized by the Stonewall Project in 2002. Today San Francisco AIDS Foundation's Stonewall Project continues to maintain this helpful online resource.

HONORING RYAN WHITE, 2009

President Barack Obama signs the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act of 2009, with Ernest Hopkins, our Legislative Director of Federal Affairs, present at the bill signing. The Ryan White Program is the largest federal program specifically dedicated to providing HIV care and treatment. San Francisco AIDS Foundation is one of the nation�s leading voices on national HIV-related policy issues. In 1996, 2000, 2006, and 2009, San Francisco AIDS Foundation played a leadership role within the Communities Advocating Emergency AIDS Relief (CAEAR) Coalition to successfully reauthorize the Ryan White CARE Act for five more years. To be part of our HIV advocacy efforts, sign up now: http://www.sfaf.org/policy-center/hiv-advocacy-network/

FOUNDATION MOVES TO NEW OFFICES, 2011

The foundation moves to a new office building on Market Street. It is situated between the Tenderloin and South of Market neighborhoods, two areas most impacted by HIV/AIDS in San Francisco.

The offices are designed to be client-focused and bring much of the foundation staff into one unified space to enhance collaboration between all the departments.

RED RIBBON ON TWIN PEAKS, 2011

On May 22, foundation staff and dozens of volunteers installed the first-ever red ribbon on Twin Peaks to commemorate the thirtieth anniversary of the first reported AIDS cases and highlight the urgent need for increased investment in HIV prevention and care. 

Images of the ribbon appeared around the world. 

ABOUT THESE IMAGES

San Francisco AIDS Foundation was established 30 years ago to respond to the emerging health crisis in our city. In the early days, the foundation served as a place for people to get information and connect with others going through the same struggle. As co-founder Cleve Jones says, “it was like a triage unit in a war zone.”

Today we live in radically different times. But one thing remains the same: we are still serving our community after 30 years and we remain as committed as ever to seeing an end to AIDS.

We are proud of San Francisco’s bold and pioneering efforts to fight HIV/AIDS. This collection of photos has been pulled from our archives to highlight the foundation’s work and community involvement over the past three decades. We are inspired by all the people who came before us, and we stand on their shoulders as we move closer to the day when HIV/AIDS is no more.

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