Black Brothers Esteem

Join Black Brothers Esteem

Established in 1996, Black Brothers Esteem supports and empowers African American men living with HIV or those at risk of transmission through community events and social support.

Black Brothers Esteem (BBE) is a psychosocial support program for African American men who have sex with men, and gay or bisexual, gender variant, and same-gender loving men who are at risk for HIV transmission.

We support each other around issues related to HIV, hepatitis C, racism, substance use, poverty, homophobia, violence and unstable housing. We work to decrease the social isolation associated with living with HIV and hepatitis C, and our group is open to people of any HIV or hepatitis C status.

Facilitated by our expert staff, BBE designs activities and events to provide a place for African American men to gather and gain support from each other. The goal is to provide education, life skills and enhanced social connections to reduce sexual risk-taking and manage substance use.

If you have questions about BBE, email our team at

A lot of people have come in and moved on to much better places than when they first showed up. That is the satisfaction of me being a part of BBE is to see that there is a way to be who you are and to be the best that you are, without being worried of the stigma.
Martial York BBE member

BBE Groups & Events

BBE Ask the Experts

Black Brothers Esteem hosts experts who share info and facilitate discussion around HIV and health topics.

Brothers Who Read

A book club created as a community where men can discuss their love of books. All are welcome.

BBE Movie & Game Night

Join Black Brothers Esteem for a get-together with board games, wacky bingo, cards and movies.

Phoenix Rising

Drop in to our discussion and peer support group for gay, bi and same gender loving African American men.

Something New

Join members of Black Brothers Esteem for free social outings around San Francisco and the Bay Area.

Black Health staff

Preston Vargas, PhD

Senior Director, Community Partnerships & Engagement

Pronouns: He/him/his
Read Bio

Pronouns: He/him/his

Preston Vargas, PhD

Senior Director, Community Partnerships & Engagement

Preston Vargas, PhD, is the interim senior director of community partnerships & engagement at San Francisco AIDS Foundation. He is responsible for the Aging Services, Black Health, and Housing & Benefits teams at SFAF, and in addition leads collaborations with partner community-based organizations in the Bay Area.

Previously, Preston served as the Director of Black Health at SFAF. In this capacity, he oversaw the Black Brothers Esteem (BBE) and TransLife groups, shaping the experience of Black communities at SFAF through resilience-building, social support, and learning opportunities. Previously, he served as the BBE coordinator, as a residential substance use counselor at Positive Resource Center, and as a case manager for Northern Rhode Island Community Services. Preston holds a PhD from the California Institute of Integral Studies and is a certified alcohol and drug counselor-certified addiction specialist CADC-CAS.

Get tested for HIV, STIs and hepatitis C

Find free testing for HIV, sexually-transmitted infections (STIs) and hepatitis C at multiple locations across San Francisco. Ask BBE how you can get a Visa gift card for testing.

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