San Francisco is one of the cities hardest hit by HIV/AIDS and has been an epicenter since the earliest days of the epidemic. Since it was first established in 1982, San Francisco AIDS Foundation has been committed to partnering with the city and county of San Francisco in adopting model policies to address HIV/AIDS. In the current economic downturn, San Francisco AIDS Foundation is working to protect funding for local HIV health programs that have been proven medically effective and cost-efficient. For example, housing continues to be one of the most significant unmet needs of people living with HIV in San Francisco. The foundation is the city’s largest provider of rental support for low-income people with HIV/AIDS through funding provided by the city’s Department of Public Health. We actively advocate for maximum federal funding of housing programs as well as for city support to provide housing assistance to low-income people living with HIV and AIDS. The foundation works closely with San Francisco’s mayor and Department of Public Health to maximize federal funding for the city’s world-renowned medical care, prevention, housing, and social services programs for people living with or at risk for HIV. This includes advocacy to ensure that provisions of the federal Ryan White program support the strongest possible response to the epidemic in San Francisco and to secure the highest possible levels of annual federal and state appropriations for HIV/AIDS programs. San Francisco AIDS Foundation also works extensively with the city to strengthen HIV prevention efforts. In 1993, at the urging of San Francisco AIDS Foundation and other needle exchange advocates, city leaders approved the state’s first government-authorized syringe access program to reduce HIV infection among injection drug users. Since that time, the foundation has provided leadership at the state level to ensure the legality of syringe access programs as well as to permit pharmacies to sell syringes to adults without a prescription.
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.