SAN FRANCISCO, May 31, 2013—Michael Discepola, director of the Stonewall Project of San Francisco AIDS Foundation, has been selected a 2013 LGBT Local Hero for his leadership and passionate commitment to community service. For more than 20 years, Discepola has dedicated his career to the fields of HIV prevention, harm reduction, community-based mental health, and substance use treatment.
“Mike is not only a hero in our community for his many years of work to improve health, but he’s also a hero to the clients he serves here at the foundation,” said Neil Giuliano, CEO of San Francisco AIDS Foundation. “Mike’s work transforms lives. We’ve seen clients of the Stonewall Project overcome life on the streets to go back to school, regain their employment and housing, and turn their lives around. This is the kind of opportunity for change Mike creates for some of our city’s most vulnerable citizens. His efforts are critical to ending the transmission of HIV in San Francisco.”
The Stonewall Project is a family of programs dedicated to providing client-centered, harm-reduction counseling, treatment, and support services to gay men, trans men who have sex with men, and other men who have sex with men who are having issues with drugs and/or alcohol. Since 1993, Discepola’s work has focused on community health and wellness for LGBT populations. He is a member of the San Francisco HIV Prevention Planning Council (HPPC), and served as the Community Co-Chair for both the HPPC and the Urban Coalition for HIV/AIDS Prevention Services (UCHAPS).
“I’m honored to be recognized for my work in the LGBT communities over the last 20 years and remain committed to advocating for and producing the best and most responsive programs, services, and public health systems to meet the needs gay men and improve the health outcomes for all LGBT populations,” said Discepola. “At the Stonewall Project, we partner with the men we serve to help them in a manner that makes sense for them and improves their lives in the ways they desire. We believe that people who use drugs and/or alcohol should be treated decently, like anyone else, and that’s exactly where we start.”
The Local Hero awards are given by KQED and Union Bank. Discepola and the other award recipients will be honored at a ceremony at the Castro Theatre on Tuesday, June 4, from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.
About San Francisco AIDS Foundation
No city experienced epidemic levels of HIV faster than San Francisco. At San Francisco AIDS Foundation, we work to end the epidemic where it first took hold, and eventually everywhere. Established in 1982, our mission is the radical reduction of new infections in San Francisco. Through education, advocacy, and direct services for prevention and care, we are confronting HIV in communities most vulnerable to the disease. We refuse to accept that HIV transmission is inevitable. For more information, go to sfaf.org.