350,000-patient benchmark also represents one-third of AHF’s own commitment to caring for one million patients by 2020 as part of the 20X20 Campaign—a worldwide effort to provide AIDS care to 20 million by 2020.
In the U.S., where AHF first launched in 1987, the nonprofit now provides lifesaving treatment in 41 clinics in 13 states and the District of Columbia; Worldwide, AHF operates 222 additional AIDS free treatment clinics.
LOS ANGELES (September 25, 2014) AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, is pleased to announce that it has reached another inspirational milestone in the history of the Foundation: as of this week, AHF is now caring for more than 350,000 patients in 36 countries around the world.
“All of us at AHF are very proud to have reached this significant milestone and want to express our gratitude to the staff, partners, patients, supporters and all members of the AHF community around the world for making it possible,” said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “While we take a moment to mark this landmark accomplishment, this moment should also serve as a reminder of those who remain without access to lifesaving HIV/AIDS treatment and of how much work there is still to be done. We will not stop until every person living with HIV is receiving treatment.”
“Our 350,000-patient benchmark also represents one-third of AHF’s personal and professional commitment to caring for one million HIV/AIDS patients by the year 2020 as AHF’s overall commitment to the 20X20 Campaign—a worldwide advocacy effort to provide lifesaving AIDS care to 20 million individuals by 2020,” said Terri Ford, Chief of Global Policy and Advocacy for AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “At present, only 12.9 million of the 34 million living with HIV/AIDS worldwide are on treatment. While 20X20 may seem like an ambitious goal, for both AHF and the world, it is one we believe we can achieve working together.”
AIDS HEALTHCARE FOUNDATION: A Brief History
When it began in 1987, AHF was the AIDS Hospice Foundation, and the main operational objective was to provide specialized hospice care for people living with AIDS, a disease that, at that time, was considered a death sentence. AHF advocated tirelessly for the rights of people suffering from HIV/AIDS to die with dignity and as little pain as possible in an accepting environment.
The Chris Brownlie Hospice opened on December 26, 1988 – the first specialized AIDS hospice in Los Angeles, named for one of the co-founders of AHF, writer and activist Chris Brownlie, who passed away from AIDS less than a year after the opening of that hospice. Two additional AHF hospices, Carl Bean House and Linn House, opened in 1992 and 1995, respectively.
As medical opportunities for managing HIV became more available, AHF changed its mission from providing compassionate care to people dying from HIV/AIDS to helping them live well with the disease through advanced medical care. This philosophical shift was marked with the change of the Foundation’s name to AIDS Healthcare Foundation in July 1990. The new focus on healthcare led to the founding of AHF Healthcare Centers, Wellness Centers, and the Positive Healthcare Network, the nation’s first capitated managed care program for people living with HIV.
In July 2000, AHF attended the International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa, where members of the Foundation joined with local partners and activists to provide testing to South Africans in Durban. The following year, AHF Global was established, and in 2002 the organization’s first healthcare clinic outside of the United States – the Ithembalabantu “People’s Hope” Clinic – opened in Durban, South Africa.
Today, in addition to its U.S. operations, which include running 41 health care centers in 13 states and the District of Columbia, operating 40 AHF Pharmacy outlets in 12 states, providing over 130,000 free HIV tests in 2013, running HIV-specific managed care programs in Florida and California, running 15 wellness centers in seven states offering free STD screenings, AHF also has operations in 35 other countries, including 222 additional AIDS treatment centers providing care around the globe. In 2013, AHF also distributed 33,800,892 free condoms worldwide and provided 1,944,681 free HIV tests around the globe.