AHF was founded in the United States in 1987, and has been at the forefront of the response to the AIDS epidemic ever since. Our work to end the AIDS epidemic by every available means has led us to become the largest provider of HIV/AIDS medical care in the country.
Our healthcare centers offer thousands of clients – many of them uninsured – the finest HIV-centered primary care, and our pharmacies specialize in HIV medications. Our researchers conduct trials of the newest drugs and treatment protocols to improve patient quality of life. Through Positive Healthcare, our managed care programs in California and Florida, we provide HIV positive Medicaid (and Medicaid & Medicare) recipients extra tools to manage their disease.
To aid in prevention, AHF runs Wellness Centers that provide convenient and after hours HIV and STD testing, distributes thousands of free condoms each day, performs outreach and leads creative media campaigns. We also conduct free HIV counseling and testing through alternative venues, such as our Out of the Closet Thrift Stores and mobile testing units, helping over 130,000 people learn their status each year.
From our inception, AHF has been a strong advocate for people living with HIV and AIDS. We have a long history of successful grassroots advocacy, lobbying and public policy work at every level of the government and across industries.
AIDS-related illness in the United States has decreased dramatically since the development of antiretroviral drugs in the mid-1990s. Still, HIV infection and AIDS remain among the nation’s leading causes of death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were 49,293 new HIV infections in the U.S. in 2011. Though that number is down from its peak in the 1980s, the California Department of Public Health says that about 40% of people test late in their illness and progress to AIDS within a year of HIV diagnosis.
HIV has a disproportionate impact on certain populations. Though Blacks and Latinos make up about 28% of the U.S. population, they account for 64% of new HIV infections. Women – particularly women of color – make up an increasingly larger share of positive people. In 2010, Black women accounted for nearly two thirds (64%) of all estimated new HIV infections among women, while only accounting for 13% of the female population. (KFF HIV/AIDS Fact Sheet, March 2014). Gay and bisexual men are also at high risk for HIV. In 2010, the estimated number of new HIV infections among MSM was 29,800, a significant 12% increase from the 26,700 new infections among MSM in 2008.