SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 18, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- San Francisco AIDS Foundation and STOP AIDS Project today announced that as of November 1, the HIV prevention programs and services of STOP AIDS Project will become a part of San Francisco AIDS Foundation. The move will align the HIV prevention, support, and referral programs of each organization to create a more seamless system of care and services for people at risk for and living with HIV in San Francisco.
"This is a critical time in our city's response to the epidemic, and we have a unique opportunity to strengthen and grow important HIV prevention services in our community," said Neil Giuliano, CEO of San Francisco AIDS Foundation. "We believe that this joining of forces moves us closer to our shared goals of radically reducing new HIV infections, ensuring everyone knows their status, and making sure all San Franciscans living with HIV get the care they need."
The move combines the best of both agencies, resulting in a more robust portfolio of prevention and care services for people who need information and assistance in San Francisco. Clients of San Francisco AIDS Foundation will have greater access to social support and peer education programs offered by STOP AIDS Project. STOP AIDS participants will have greater access to case management, housing benefits, HIV testing, and substance use services offered by San Francisco AIDS Foundation.
"This move is good for our community. STOP AIDS and San Francisco AIDS Foundation have a long history of collaboration and share a common vision of a community in which new HIV infections are rare and people get the care they need," said STOP AIDS Executive Director Kyriell Noon. "By joining forces, we're better positioned to serve our clients through enhanced programs, and ultimately that will lead to a healthier community overall."
San Francisco AIDS Foundation has a history of taking on and growing important community programs and services for HIV prevention and care. In 2007, the foundation acquired the Castro-based community health clinic, Magnet, and Stonewall, a counseling program for gay and bisexual men who use drugs or alcohol. Since becoming part of the foundation, Magnet has almost tripled the number of free HIV tests it provides in the Castro and expanded its staff by more than 300 percent. Similarly, Stonewall has received mental health certification, established a second Castro-based location, and grown its staff and portfolio of community services.
"San Francisco AIDS Foundation and STOP AIDS are leaders in providing culturally competent HIV prevention services to communities. This legacy is reflected by the integration, which will allow the continuation and strengthening of client-centered programs," said Barbara Garcia, Director of the San Francisco Department of Public Health. "Moving forward, DPH looks forward to working with our community colleagues to achieve shared goals of increasing health equity and reducing new HIV infections through efficient and effective services."
Once the combination is finalized, STOP AIDS Executive Director Kyriell Noon will become Director of Prevention Services at the foundation. All current programs of STOP AIDS will continue to be provided at the STOP AIDS offices at 2128 15th Street.
In addition to combining HIV prevention efforts, STOP AIDS will also transfer its annual fund-raising event, Dining Out for Life, to San Francisco AIDS Foundation. Dining Out for Life is a beloved Bay Area event that unites residents, restaurateurs, and corporate sponsors for one special night of dining in an effort to raise money and awareness in the local fight against HIV. The next Dining Out for Life is scheduled for April 26, 2012.
The board of directors of each agency voted to approve the combination on Wednesday, October 12. Legal documentation was completed on Friday, October 14, and the combination will be effective on November 1. The legal aspects of the deal were managed pro bono by Morrison & Foerster for San Francisco AIDS Foundation and Hanson Bridgett LLP for STOP AIDS.
About San Francisco AIDS Foundation
No city experienced epidemic levels of HIV faster than San Francisco. At San Francisco AIDS Foundation, we work to end the epidemic where it first took hold, and eventually everywhere. Established in 1982, our mission is the radical reduction of new infections in San Francisco. Through education, advocacy, and direct services for prevention and care, we are confronting HIV in communities most vulnerable to the disease. We refuse to accept that HIV transmission is inevitable. For more information, go to www.sfaf.org.
About STOP AIDS Project
STOP AIDS Project's mission is to prevent HIV transmission among all gay, bisexual, and transgender men in San Francisco through collaborative and multicultural community-based organizing. It was founded in 1984 by concerned and frightened community members who invited others into their homes to discuss their fears and figure out how to protect each other in the early days of the AIDS epidemic. For the past 27 years, that tradition of community-based and volunteer-driven health promotion has remained at the core of all of our programs and services.
Contact: James Loduca
SOURCE San Francisco AIDS Foundation