Our Advocacy

We focus on policies and funding for HIV prevention and care, sexually-transmitted infection and hepatitis C prevention and treatment, PrEP, harm reduction initiatives including supervised consumption sites, access to healthcare and healthcare affordability, housing and homelessness prevention, and more.

Our policy and advocacy team champions evidence-based policies at the local, state and federal levels, fighting every day to protect the health justice of people in our community. Together with partner organizations and community members, we shape legislation and funding for programs and policies that affect us all.

Areas of Focus


We fight for policies that improve access to quality, affordable health care, and other initiatives that improve public health.


We work to improve the housing landscape in San Francisco to reach a day when nobody is left without a place to call home.


We advocate for policies and practices that improve the health and lives of people who use substances.

We work in coalition with community leaders, policymakers and other community organizations to ensure that voices of the community are heard in the halls of power. Our impact is greater when we are locked arm in arm together. We’re proud to serve as a member of these coalitions:

AIDS United, California Hepatitis Alliance (CalHep), California HIV Alliance, Care4AllCA, Coalition on Human Needs, Communities Advocating Emergency AIDS Relief (CAEAR) Coalition, EndHepC SF, Federal AIDS Policy Partnership (FAPP), Harm Reduction Coalition, HIV/AIDS Provider Network (HAPN), Homeless Emergency Service Providers Association (HESPA), Human Services Network, Medicaid Coalition, National AIDS Housing Coalition, National Black Gay Men’s Advocacy Coalition, National Coalition on LGBT Health, National Coalition on Low Income Housing, Our City Our Home Coalition, San Francisco HIV Frontline Organizers Network (SF HIV FOG), SAVE for All Campaign, The Food is Medicine Coalition, and Yes to SCS California.

Laura Thomas, MPH, MPP

Senior Director, HIV and Harm Reduction Policy

Pronouns: She/her/hers

Ernest Hopkins

Senior Strategist & Advisor

Pronouns: He/him/his
Read Bio

Pronouns: He/him/his
415-487-3096 ehopkins@sfaf.org

Ernest Hopkins

Senior Strategist & Advisor

Ernest Hopkins leads the San Francisco AIDS Foundation national policy and legislative activities at the federal administrative and congressional levels, seeking appropriate levels of resource and sound public health policies that promote the health and wellness of San Franciscans living with and at risk for HIV.

Ernest marked 20 years at SFAF in 2017 having led federal policy and legislative activities since 1997. Prior to joining SFAF, Ernest was the director of health and treatment at the National Association for People with AIDS (NAPWA) in Washington, DC where he led clinical trial review and consultation at the inception of HIV antiretroviral development and availability, advocating for safety, effectiveness and affordability. Ernest leads and has led national advocacy coalitions like the National Black Gay Men's Advocacy Coalition (NBGMAC) and the Communities Advocating Emergency AIDS Relief (CAEAR). He has testified before congressional committees and advised Congress on legislative initiatives, earning him the Congressional Black Caucus's Leadership Award.

Our Impact in 2018

$0 million

increase in Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS (HOPWA)


letters sent to Governor Brown in support of AB 186

$0 million

increase in HIV prevention funding in California

Advocate and take action

Concerned about funding for harm reduction, HIV and overdose prevention? To get more involved with our policy and advocacy work, join our HIV Advocacy Network or text RESIST to 52886.

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