San Francisco AIDS Foundation works to end the HIV epidemic in the city where it began, and eventually everywhere. Established in 1982, our mission is the radical reduction of new infections in San Francisco because we refuse to accept HIV as inevitable. Through education, advocacy and direct services for prevention and care, we are confronting HIV in communities most vulnerable to the disease.
San Francisco AIDS Foundation is guided by a strategic plan with three ambitious goals aimed at radically reducing new infections in San Francisco in 2015.
Goal 1: Reduce new HIV infections in San Francisco by 50%
New HIV infection rates have remained frustratingly stable for more than a decade, at about 55,000 in the U.S., 7,000 in California, and 1,000 in San Francisco. We seek to radically reduce new infections, and we can not do it alone. We must collaborate within and beyond our community, with partners in research, clinical and public health, with local, state and federal governments, and with donors, volunteers and other stakeholders. Together, we will expand HIV testing and pursue new frontiers in prevention. Leveraging scientific research and community knowledge we will devise new approaches and ensure that federal, state and local legislation supports a climate hospitable to effective HIV prevention.
Goal 2: Ensure all San Franciscans know their current HIV status
Accurate knowledge of HIV status is critical to individual and community health. Even in San Francisco, nearly one in five (18 percent) people with HIV are unaware of their status. Not knowing one’s HIV status leads to missed opportunities for HIV prevention and care. For infection rates to decrease, status awareness must increase. HIV testing and screening must become part of routine healthcare and a topic of frank, honest discussions free from stigma and judgment. We are expanding advocacy and public education about the benefits of testing, determining the feasibility of citywide HIV screening, and optimizing our own and others’ capacity to provide HIV testing.
Goal 3: Ensure access to proper care for all HIV-positive San Franciscans
The line between HIV prevention and care has blurred. Emerging scientific research tells us that proper treatment and care for HIV-positive individuals isn’t just the right thing to do, it may also be an important prevention strategy. That’s because effective HIV care can improve long-term health and wellness while simultaneously reducing the likelihood of further transmission through the use of antiretroviral treatment and behavioral change. The foundation is determined to eliminate institutional and political obstacles to access to treatment and care. As the epidemic evolves, we are evolving our targeted programs to improve the health of people with HIV and AIDS, from housing and medical referrals to group support and services that address mental health and substance use among populations most vulnerable to HIV.
The best way to fight HIV is to know your status. A simple test can determine if you are infected with the virus.
Our diverse programs help thousands of people every year. From testing to prevention to care, our services assist communities where need is greatest.