Michael Weinstein is the president of AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization. Before becoming involved in HIV/AIDS related issues in the 1980s, he was a businessman and graphic designer. Since 1986, Mr. Weinstein has been a leader in the fight against HIV and AIDS. As president and co-founder of AHF, he oversees an $1.3 billion organization whose mission is to provide “cutting-edge medicine and advocacy regardless of ability to pay.” AHF currently serves 606,413 clients in the United States, Africa, Latin/America and the Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific region and Eastern Europe.
Under Weinstein’s leadership, AHF has grown from a group of friends dedicated to the creation of dignified care for people in the last stages of AIDS to the largest AIDS organization in the United States. The Foundation now operates over 320 treatment clinics in 36 countries globally: 46 outpatient AHF Healthcare Centers in 14 states (California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, Nevada, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas, Washington) as well as in the District of Columbia. AHF also operates 38 pharmacies in 11 states and a clinical research unit. Under its Positive Healthcare brand, AHF operates managed care programs for people living with HIV and/or AIDS in California and Florida, which currently serve 4,754 clients.
In 2001, AHF launched AHF Global, a non-profit, international initiative to bring lifesaving antiretroviral therapy to developing and resource-poor countries. AHF Global works in partnership with local stakeholders including ministries of health and non-government organizations to establish sustainable and replicable models for high-quality, sustainable HIV/AIDS healthcare service delivery. With a presence in 36 countries, AHF currently has partnerships and/or operates over 320 free AIDS treatment clinics in countries outside the US including Argentina, Brazil, Cambodia, China, Dominican Republic, Estonia, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Greece, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Lesotho, Lithuania, Mexico, Myanmar, Nepal, The Netherlands, Nigeria, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Swaziland, Thailand, Uganda, Ukraine, Vietnam and Zambia. AHF countries in development include Bolivia, and then on to Chile, Colombia and Panama, but programs and partnerships in these countries have not formally started yet.
In addition, over the past four years AHF has been cultivating partner affiliations under the AHF Federation. AHF affiliates now include AID Atlanta (June 2015); AIDS Center Queens County (ACQC, Feb. 2015); AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland (June 2013); ICAN, or Island Coast AIDS Network in FL (March 2012); the South Side Help Center in Chicago, IL (Feb. 2015) and WORLD (Women Organized to Respond to Life-threatening Diseases, affiliated Sept. 2014)
In order to help finance some of the many services AHF provides Weinstein also created the popular fundraising Out of the Closet thrift store chain, the nation’s largest AIDS-related retail business, which contributes to the innovative HIV/AIDS initiatives of AHF. Out of the Closet now boasts 19 stores in six states—in with several in Southern California, Northern California and Florida as well as one each in Brooklyn, NY; Dallas, TX; Columbus, OH and Seattle, WA—several of which offer free HIV testing as part of the Foundation’s groundbreaking alternative HIV testing and prevention program.
Before founding AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Weinstein served as coordinator of the Stop the AIDS Quarantine Committee and then as executive director of the Los Angeles AIDS Hospice Committee, which led the fight for hospice care in the mid-eighties.
In 2001, Weinstein was awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree from Whittier College for his career achievements and was named one of the top 25 leaders in HIV/AIDS in the then 25-year history of the epidemic by “HIV Plus Magazine” in its November/December 2009 issue.