As 2019 begins, San Francisco is closer than ever to achieving our goal of zero: zero new HIV infections, zero AIDS-related deaths, and zero HIV stigma.
According to the San Francisco Department of Public Health, in 2017, there were 221 San Franciscans diagnosed with HIV–an incredible 58% decline over the last decade, and nearly three-quarters of the 16,000 people living with HIV in San Francisco are virally suppressed.
San Francisco AIDS Foundation is proud of the leadership we have provided to help end the AIDS epidemic throughout our 37 years of service to the community, including providing free-of-charge services to more than 25,000 people this past year. But, we also know that our work must continue to evolve in order to meet the changing needs of our community, especially in these times that are anything but normal.
The fight to end AIDS has never just been just a public health issue; it is and always has been a social justice issue. To achieve our ambitious goal of zero, our city must ensure that everyone can exercise the same rights. Rights like health care, housing and freedom from discrimination. In order to end the AIDS epidemic, we must fight to undo the systems of oppression that bar people from being healthy.
Guided by our commitment to health equity, this past year, we continued to expand our services for communities that experience disparities in HIV infections and deaths because we know that 221 diagnoses is still 221 too many. As you will read in the following report, we successfully engaged more people of color into our prevention programming and we provided more social support services for long-term survivors. We grew our syringe access and disposal efforts, and successfully advocated for housing and other policies that address the systemic barriers our community faces.
Our accomplishments would not be possible without our partners, volunteers and donors, who have made vital contributions toward our vision of ending AIDS. We look forward to deepening our work together in the years ahead as there is much to be excited about on the horizon.
In summer 2019, we look forward to sharing our new strategic plan with you. This bold plan will serve as a roadmap for addressing the disparities in sexual health and substance use through expanded services, advocacy and partnerships.
Then in July 2020, our city in collaboration with Oakland will host the International AIDS Conference. This will be the first time the conference will be back in the Bay Area in over 30 years. The conference will give us an incredible opportunity to celebrate our progress, build long-standing partnerships across the Bay, and remind the world that AIDS is not over.
Thank you for your support and partnership. Together, we will prove that anything is possible when we act together. Even ending AIDS.
Joe Hollendoner, CEO
Mary Cha-Caswell, Chair, Board of Directors