A New Year message from our CEO


Dear Friends,

Happy New Year! Like many of you, I find this time of year to be the perfect opportunity to reflect upon the accomplishments of the past and to think about goals for the future.


I can’t think of anything I’m more proud of than joining the staff of San Francisco AIDS Foundation this past May. It has been an incredible experience so far and I’m grateful to the community for welcoming me arms wide open.

I am overwhelmed with pride when I think about all that San Francisco AIDS Foundation accomplished in 2016. Through the hard work of the foundation’s staff, volunteers, and supporters, we expanded our programs and served more people than ever before!

Below are some of our accomplishments from this past year.

  • Strut, our new health and wellness center, opened on January 4th, co-locating our Magnet sexual health services, Stonewall substance health program, and STOP AIDS Project’s community engagement programs.
  • Our 6th Street Harm Reduction Center expanded its hours from two days per week to six; increasing access to HIV and hepatitis C testing, prevention supplies, medical care, and mental health services for people who use substances, including those experiencing homelessness.
  • Black Brothers Esteem (BBE) celebrated its 20th anniversary of peer-based prevention and support for African American men who are gay, bisexual or same gender loving.
  • Our sexual health services provided more than 15,000 HIV tests at our three sites and in dozens of outreach venues. We also enrolled our 1,800th client in PrEP services, including providing the medical care and navigation services needed to access PrEP.
  • Additional successes can be found here.

These successes give me confidence that despite the changing national political and healthcare landscapes, the foundation will continue to advance our mission of ending the AIDS epidemic in San Francisco.

Right now, there is much uncertainty about the incoming administration. What is certain though is that San Francisco AIDS Foundation will work alongside our partners to fight to protect the healthcare that people living with and at risk for HIV have come to depend on under the Affordable Care Act. We will also always stand with you to protect the most vulnerable among us by fighting for our community’s reproductive rights and human rights. And you can rest assured that we will continue to work to protect funding for life-saving HIV prevention, care, and housing programs.

In the year ahead, the foundation will also promote health equity. We will expand access to PrEP services to communities that continue to experience disproportionate rates of new HIV infections, including African Americans, Latinos, transgender people, and youth. We will re-introduce our Real Talk forums so that we can hear directly from our community about issues that influence your health and lives. And we will expand services for people over the age of 50 to make sure that the long-term survivors of this epidemic, regardless of their HIV status, can receive the support and care they deserve.

In addition to guiding the foundation through these changes in the year ahead, I have also set a personal goal for myself. This year, I will be participating in my first AIDS/LifeCycle, and will bike 545 miles from San Francisco to L.A. in order to raise funds and awareness for HIV prevention and care services.

I hope that whatever your goals are for 2017 that they involve staying connected and engaged with San Francisco AIDS Foundation as you are an invaluable member of our community. And remember, although we don’t know what the year ahead will bring or what challenges we will face, we will face them together, like we always have.

All my best,


Joe

P.S. You may have noticed that the Status newsletter has been redesigned! We hope this new format gives you a more complete picture of our work and the impact we’re making in the community.  In this month’s edition, you’ll find out how our policy team is fighting to preserve health insurance and advocate for people living with HIV, see how our Latino Programs are helping clients access social services and build community, learn about an upcoming Real Talk event, find out how repealing the Affordable Care Act may impact people living with HIV, and more.

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