AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), based in Los Angeles, is a global non-profit serving more than 1,000,000 patients in 43 countries, including the United States, Mexico, South Africa, India, Russia, and China. It is the largest non-profit provider of HIV/AIDS medical care in the world.
Founded as AIDS Hospice Foundation in 1987, AHF provided housing and medical services to terminally ill AIDS patients during the height of the AIDS epidemic. Later, after the discovery of the AIDS cocktail in the mid-1990s, AIDS Healthcare Foundation focused on providing free HIV drug treatment in countries all over the world.
AHF’s longtime mission statement is “cutting-edge medicine and advocacy regardless of ability to pay.” The organization believes that advocacy helps improve service delivery, and, therefore, has actively pushed for reforms and legislation to improve health outcomes.
In 2017, AHF returned to its housing roots as California’s housing affordability and homeless crises increasingly impacted patients and threatened their health. Widespread gentrification and displacement in Los Angeles and San Francisco were particularly problematic for AHF patients, who struggled to find stable, affordable housing. AHF patients in Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Seattle, and Washington D.C. have been facing similar difficulties.
The AHF Board of Directors has voted to formally engage in the fight against gentrification, recognizing it as critical to fulfilling the organization’s public health mission. AHF seeks to increase tenant protections and advance bold progressive housing policy through its advocacy organization Housing Is A Human Right. In 2018, AHF played a key role in seeking to repeal statewide restrictions on rent control through California’s Proposition 10.
In addition to advocacy, AHF is committed to building affordable housing for those most in need through the Healthy Housing Foundation. HHF has purchased and rehabilitated hotels in Los Angeles, turning them into emergency shelters for people who live at the extremely low and very low income levels. One of the goals of HHF is to produce a model that creates quality, affordable housing quickly and inexpensively and can be replicated.
AHF believes that we must create policies that protect tenants, preserve existing affordable housing, and produce truly affordable housing.