2019 was a big year for San Francisco AIDS Foundation, and more importantly, for the communities we serve.
According to the San Francisco Department of Public Health, San Francisco has achieved an incredible 50% decline in new HIV diagnoses over the last five years — only 197 people were diagnosed with HIV in 2018, the most recent year data is available. This milestone is especially significant when considering that the number of new HIV diagnoses nationally has shown no decline over the same time period.
We are proud of San Francisco AIDS Foundation’s contribution to this historic milestone, made possible by our deep commitment to prioritizing community needs. That commitment is outlined in detail in the new strategic plan we released in 2019, which serves as a roadmap for the next five years of impact.
The centerpiece of our strategic plan is a focus on health justice, the belief that every person should have the economic, social and political power they need to make decisions about their bodies and their health. Orienting our work toward health justice means understanding that what public health calls “disparities in HIV incidence and prevalence” are illuminations of injustice. And, calling injustice out into the light is long overdue.
The fight to end AIDS has never just been a public health issue; it is and always has been a social justice issue. To achieve our vision of health justice, everyone must have and be able to enjoy 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 impact individual and community health and well-being.
As you will read in the following report, our services, advocacy, and partnership efforts are growing in scope and impact. In 2019, we provided sexual health and substance use services to more than 25,000 people with a focus on expanding access and utilization by people of color and other members of priority communities. We successfully passed legislation in Sacramento that will make PrEP easier to access and we advocated for people who use methamphetamines at City Hall. We deepened partnerships, and built new ones, as we prepare for the Bay Area to host the 23rd International AIDS Conference, AIDS 2020, this coming July.
These accomplishments would not be possible without you — our collaborators, volunteers, and donors — who have made vital contributions towards our vision of the future. We look forward to deepening our work together in the years ahead as there is much to be excited about on the horizon.
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
Matthew Marquis, Chair, Board of Directors