As of November 13th, AIDS Healthcare Foundation is now providing lifesaving HIV/AIDS care and services, including antiretroviral treatment, to over half a million people in 36 countries around the globe.
Dedicated network of AHF global partner organizations aid in rapid scale up of lifesaving treatment; AHF’s prior benchmark—250,000 people in care—was reached in November 2013, just two short years ago.
LOS ANGELES (November 16, 2015) As the 27th observation of World AIDS Day approaches December 1st, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) is honored to announce that a major milestone in AHF’s mission has been reached: As of November 13th, AHF is providing lifesaving HIV/AIDS medical care and services to 502,237 patients in 36 countries worldwide in the US, Europe, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean and Asia.
“Today, AHF celebrates a day we never knew would come: We are now reaching over half-a-million men, women and children with lifesaving medical care in thirty-six countries around the world—a remarkable accomplishment that only a great team of patients, medical providers, staff and volunteers could have made possible,” said Michael Weinstein, AHF’s President. “500,000 patients in care is one of the greatest accomplishments in the 28-year history of AHF. Just two years ago, we celebrated 250,000 patients in care. To now reach over twice that number of lives is incredible. We celebrate today, and as we carry on, I am confident that the leadership of AHF’s domestic and global programs has the capability, and the will, to take us to one million lives in care over the next five years.”
“Congratulations to all of the AHF staff, Board members, volunteers, partners and our patients for contributing your best to help AHF meet this milestone,” said Cynthia Davis, MPH, Assistant Professor and Program Director, Medical Science Institute, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science and Chair of AHF’s Board of Directors. “We look forward to celebrating this milestone at most, if not all AHF sites across the globe on World AIDS Day.”
“Families kept together as men and women now continue their daily work and lives. Children not orphaned because parents now have treatment—and hope. These are just some of the realities, some of the lives saved thanks to AHF’s presence in the countries where we currently operate in around the globe,” said Penninah Iutung Amor, M.D., Africa Bureau Chief for AHF, on the continent where almost half of AHF patients are located. “As an expert in the delivery of HIV/AIDS medical care and an influential advocate, AHF will continue to be at the forefront of efforts to control AIDS globally.”
“That this achievement has been made possible in such a short period of time is testament to the spirit and perseverance of so many at AHF who have worked countless hours toward this goal,” added Jorge Saavedra M.D., Global Ambassador for AHF and former Director of Mexico’s national AIDS program “It is this same spirit that will keep AHF forging ahead as we continue to expand our reach and our work toward saving even more and more lives around the globe.”
AHF celebrated the earlier milestone of 250,000 patients in care on November 27, 2013. In the two short intervening years until today’s announcement, AHF doubled the number of patients it reaches. Prior to that, AHF marked 100,000 patients in care worldwide on April 8, 2009, when AHF operated in just 21 countries and with only 65 clinics total worldwide.
AHF provides medical care and services in nearly 300 global clinics in 35 other countries including:
THE AMERICAS—10 countries, including: Argentina, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Haiti, Jamaica, Mexico, Paraguay and Peru (as well as the previously cited United States).
AFRICA—11 countries, including: Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Eswatini, Uganda and Zambia.
ASIA—8 countries, including: Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand and Vietnam.
EUROPE—7 countries, including: Estonia, Greece, Lithuania, Netherlands, Portugal, Russia and Ukraine.
In addition, AHF operates 49 free HIV/AIDS healthcare centers in 14 states and the District of Columbia in the U.S. (California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Nevada, New York, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas, Washington [state] and Washington, DC).
AHF’s Early History
AHF began operations in 1987 as the AIDS Hospice Foundation by a group of activists in response to the urgent need to provide hospice services to patients dying of AIDS on the streets of Los Angeles. By July 1990, the organization had changed its name to the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, as the need for ongoing medical care for HIV/AIDS patients grew. When the advent of lifesaving antiretroviral medications ushered in a treatment revolution in 1996, AHF began supplying these medications to patients for free without guarantee of reimbursement and at great financial risk. In 2002, at the invitation of local South African activists, AHF opened its fist free HIV/AIDS clinic outside the U.S. in this hard-hit country. In 2004, AHF declared its pledge to reach 100,000 people worldwide with its services, and by 2009, AHF reached that major milestone.
Today, in addition to its clinics and treatment centers, AHF also operates a chain of 37 AHF Pharmacy outlets in 11 states and runs managed care and disease management programs for people with AIDS or HIV in Florida and California under AHF’s Positive Healthcare umbrella. Through AHF’s Public Health Division, AHF operates one of the largest community based free HIV testing programs in the US (155,842 free tests in the US in 2014). In addition, nearly three million free HIV tests were done globally by AHF in 2014 (2,968,179 tests). AHF also operates 18 Wellness Centers in two states (and three additional Wellness Centers in two other countries) and also operates two AHF Dental Clinics in South Florida and Southern California. The AHF Research Division has nearly 20 years of experience with antiretroviral (ARV) studies.
AHF to Roll Out ‘500,000 Lives in Care’ Billboards in Los Angeles, South Florida
To mark its 500,000 patient milestone, AHF is rolling out a celebratory billboard campaign in Los Angeles and South Florida. In addition, a newspaper ‘sticky note’ ad campaign celebrating the 500,000 benchmark will run in newspapers in Los Angeles, South Florida, Washington, DC and Atlanta around the observation of World AIDS Day on December 1st.