Posts Tagged ‘San Francisco AIDS Foundation’

Giant AIDS Ribbon on San Francisco’s Twin Peaks Commemorates the 30th Year of HIV/AIDS

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

It will be around until June 19th, 2011. Details below.

(PRNewsFoto/San Francisco AIDS Foundation, Alex Bernardin)

Giant AIDS Ribbon on San Francisco’s Twin Peaks Commemorates the 30th Year of HIV/AIDS

SAN FRANCISCO, May 24, 2011  –For the first time ever, a massive red ribbon appears on the side of Twin Peaks to mark the 30th anniversary of the first reported cases of AIDS in the United States. Organized by San Francisco AIDS Foundation, the ribbon was installed by more than 100 community volunteers to honor San Francisco’s legacy in fighting HIV/AIDS and to raise awareness of the importance of knowing your HIV status and getting proper care.

“This ribbon is a bold reminder to the entire world that HIV/AIDS is still an issue that urgently needs our attention,” said San Francisco AIDS Foundation CEO Neil Giuliano. “We have made tremendous progress in the fight against the disease over the past 30 years, but our work is not done. We believe even one new infection is one too many, and we will continue to give people the information and services they need to remain healthy and take care of the people they love.”

Every day in San Francisco, two more people are newly infected with HIV. More than 56,000 people are infected every year nationwide. Alarmingly, rates of new HIV infections are rising among gay and bisexual men nationwide, the only risk group for which this is the case. San Francisco AIDS Foundation conceived the red ribbon to reinforce its commitment to improving the health of the community through increased HIV testing and prevention efforts, and vital services that ensure HIV-positive people can access treatment and receive high-quality care.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the first cases of the virus that would be known as AIDS on June 5, 1981. San Francisco was the first city in the country to experience epidemic levels of the disease. Today there are close to 16,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in San Francisco.

“San Francisco has always been a pioneer when it comes to HIV/AIDS,” said San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener. “From the early days of the disease, the city responded with courage to save lives and change the course of the epidemic. Today the ribbon on Twin Peaks is an extension of that legacy and sends an important message that San Francisco will always be a leader in the fight against HIV.”

“I am so proud to be part of this historic effort to raise awareness,” said volunteer Mike Shaw, who helped to install the ribbon. “This ribbon is a reminder that in San Francisco we take care of everyone in our community. We have always been a compassionate city, and that will never change.”

The ribbon is made out of 25 tarps. It is 225 feet long and 165 feet wide, and is visible from points across San Francisco and the Bay Area. It is scheduled to remain on Twin Peaks until June 19th.

About San Francisco AIDS Foundation

San Francisco AIDS Foundation works to end the HIV epidemic in the city where it began, and eventually everywhere. Established in 1982, our mission is the radical reduction of new infections in San Francisco because we refuse to accept HIV as inevitable. Through education, advocacy and direct services for prevention and care, we are confronting HIV in communities most vulnerable to the disease.

9th Annual AIDS/LifeCycle Ride Begins – From the Cow Palace to L.A. in Seven Days

Sunday, June 6th, 2010

Here’s the scene at 5:00 AM this morning down at Daly City’s California State Livestock Pavilion where 2400 roadies (road bike riders) and their volunteer road crews (aka roadies, it’s confusing I know) just took off for L.A. in the world’s largest annual HIV/AIDS fundraising event.

Check it:

First-time ALC cyclist Greg and a bunch of bikes at the Cow Palace this AM via WeberSF

The bro in this shot from last year (note the fog – it’s a tradition) could be YOU next year! Why not?

From AIDS/LifeCycle

All the deets, below.

Bon Courage, cyclistes!

AIDS/LifeCycle Begins as 2,400 Hit the Road to Raise Awareness and $10 Million to Fight AIDS. San Francisco-to-Los Angeles bike ride is world’s largest annual HIV/AIDS fundraiser

SAN FRANCISCO and LOS ANGELES, June 6 - A colorful stream of 2,400 bicyclists and volunteer “roadies” from nearly every state and eight countries left San Francisco this morning on the way to Los Angeles as participants in AIDS/LifeCycle, the world’s largest annual HIV/AIDS fundraising event. In its ninth year, the event is expected to raise $10 million to care for those living with HIV/AIDS and to prevent new infections.  In the seven days it takes to ride to Los Angeles, more than 1,000 people in the United States and 50,000 people around the world will be infected with HIV.

AIDS/LifeCycle is a fully supported, 545-mile bike ride — not a race — that supports the HIV/AIDS services provided by the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center and San Francisco AIDS Foundation.  It also raises awareness that HIV/AIDS is a growing scourge that continues to have a devastating impact on our communities, especially here in California. More than 1 in 10 of the nation’s HIV-positive people live in California and California ranks second among the states in cumulative AIDS cases.

“With the ongoing budget crisis and last year’s horrific cuts to HIV-prevention funding, the money raised through AIDS/LifeCycle is more important than ever,” said Lorri L. Jean, CEO of the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center.  “It’s important for people to realize that the HIV pandemic isn’t over and that there are still many in our community in need of quality medical care. The HIV services supported by AIDS/LifeCycle save lives year-round.”

Participants range in age from 18 to 82 and are at various levels of physical fitness. Whether gay or straight, HIV-positive or HIV-negative, they share a common commitment to ending HIV and caring for those living with the virus. So much so that each cyclist raises at least $3,000 (most raise more than $4,000) to participate in what many consider to be a life-changing experience. Since its inception in 2002, AIDS/LifeCycle has raised more than $60 million to fight AIDS.”

Ever more deets, after the jump.

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Senator Leland Yee Wants a Clean Needle Program to Prevent Spread of HIV, Hep C

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

Our Senator Leland Yee, Ph.D. is today calling for support for his Clean Needle Bill, SB 1029. It would permit all California pharmacists to sell up to 30 sterile syringes to drug users aged 18 and over. Why? To prevent the spread of HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C and other blood-borne diseases that live in used syringes.

All the deets of today’s presser with Mark Cloutier, CEO of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and Barry Zevin, MD, a San Francisco primary care and HIV clinician, below.

Senator Yee, PhD:

Yee Introduces Clean Needle Bill. Legislation would allow pharmacies to sell sterile syringes to prevent spread of HIV & Hepatitis C
 
Today, State Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco/San Mateo) was joined by doctors, pharmacists, and AIDS prevention advocates to introduce legislation that would allow pharmacies throughout California the discretion to sell up to 30 sterile syringes to an adult without a prescription
 
California is one of only three states that still prohibit pharmacists from selling a syringe without a prescription.  Most states amended their laws in light of evidence that criminalized access to sterile syringes led drug users to share used ones, and that sharing syringes spread HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C and other blood-borne diseases that can live in a used syringe.
 
This is an effective public health measure which is proven to reduce health care costs to taxpayers,” said Yee.  “It’s a moral, as well as fiscal imperative.”
 
“Access to sterile syringes is a vital component of a comprehensive strategy to combat HIV and hepatitis,” said Yee.  “This approach has been evaluated extensively throughout the world and has been found to significantly reduce rates of HIV and hepatitis without contributing to any increase in drug use, drug injection, crime or unsafe discard of syringes.”
 
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-Los Angeles) signed legislation in 2004 to create a five-year pilot to evaluate the safety and efficacy of allowing adults to purchase and possess a limited number of syringes for personal use.  Under the pilot program pharmacies in Los Angeles County, the Bay Area and some other parts of the state have been allowed to sell syringes.
 
Yee’s SB 1029 would remove the sunset and allow all pharmacists throughout the state with the discretion to sell sterile syringes without a prescription.
 
Sharing of used syringes is the most common cause of new hepatitis C infections in California and the second most common cause of HIV infections.  The state Department of Public Health estimates that approximately 3,000 California residents contract hepatitis C through syringe sharing every year and another 750 cases of HIV are caused by syringe sharing.
 
These diseases are costly and potentially deadly. Hospitalizations for hepatitis B and hepatitis C cost the state $2 billion in 2007, according to a report by the California Research Bureau.  The lifetime cost of treating hepatitis C is approximately $100,000, unless a liver transplant is required, and then the cost exceeds $300,000 per surgery.  The lifetime cost of treating HIV/AIDS is now estimated to exceed $600,000 per patient.
 
By comparison, a syringe costs about ten to fifteen cents retail.  The bill requires no appropriation of state funds, because it allows adults to buy syringes at their own expense.
 
Among health policy researchers speaking in favor of SB 1029, Alex Kral, an epidemiologist who has supervised several studies of HIV prevention said, “In light of over 200 studies worldwide that establish improved syringe access means less disease with no downside, to continue a policy of making syringe sales illegal would amount to health policy malpractice.”
 
The 200 studies Kral referred to were reviewed by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2008.  WHO concluded that the overwhelming scientific consensus showed improved syringe access reduced rates of HIV and hepatitis without contributing to drug use, crime or unsafe discard of syringes. 
 
“There is not one credible study from anywhere in the world that refutes these findings,” Kral said.
 
Among the numerous studies cited was one published in the American Journal of Public Health from 2001 that compared US cities that allowed pharmacists to sell syringes to adults without a prescription and those that did not.  The study found that the rate of HIV among drug injectors was twice as high in cities that forbid sale without a prescription than those cities that allowed pharmacists greater flexibility to provide syringes.
 
“This approach has been overwhelmingly supported by the health professions,” said Yee. “I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Legislature, the Governor and the California Department of Public Health to craft the most efficient and cost-effective means of saving lives and public dollars by preventing HIV and hepatitis C.”
 
SB 1029 will be considered in committee in March.