AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF)
Keeping the Promise
AHF, the largest global AIDS organization—which now provides HIV/AIDS care and services, including antiretroviral treatment, to more than 821,000 people in 39 countries— and over 17,000 Ohioans.
AHF in Ohio
In 2012, AHF opened the first of their six sites offering free HIV testing in Ohio. In 2013, The AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland (founded in 1983) officially affiliated with AHF. With their combined efforts, they care for 745 HIV/AIDS patients at free treatment clinics in Columbus and Cleveland and also provide free HIV & STD screenings for thousands of Ohioans each year.
About Michael Weinstein and AIDS Healthcare Foundation
Before co-founding AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Weinstein served as coordinator of the Stop the AIDS Quarantine Committee and then as executive director of the Los Angeles AIDS Hospice Committee, which led the fight for hospice care in the mid-eighties.
In 1987, Michael Weinstein and a handful of AIDS activists founded the AIDS Hospice Foundation to give those dying from HIV a place to live with dignity in their final days. With the revolution of HIV treatment, the foundation was renamed the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, and refocused its mission on providing cutting edge medicine and advocacy to those in the HIV/AIDS community, regardless of their ability to pay.
Under the guidance of AHF president Michael Weinstein, AHF has forged partnerships with and/or operates over 436 free AIDS treatment clinics in countries outside the US, and 48 in the US. In 2016, AHF provided free HIV tests to nearly five-million people across the world, and currently treats over 820,000 HIV+ patients in 39 countries around the globe.
About AHF Advocating for Lower Prescription Drug Prices:
In 2001, AHF launched AHF Global, a non-profit, international initiative to bring lifesaving antiretroviral therapy to developing and resource-poor countries. AHF Global works in partnership with local stakeholders including ministries of health and non-government organizations to establish sustainable and replicable models for high-quality, sustainable HIV/AIDS healthcare service delivery.
In 2002, AHF filed suit against GlaxoSmithKline in a Los Angeles federal court to protest antitrust and patent violations regarding GSK’s antiviral drugs AZT, 3TC and Ziagen. AHF amended its lawsuit against GSK in November 2002 to include a request that the drug company’s patents be invalidated so U.S. residents can take advantage of cheaper, generic versions. In February 2003, GSK cuts the cost of Trizivir and Combivir in developing countries by as much as 90 percent.
In February 2004, AHF filed an antitrust and restraint of trade lawsuit against pharmaceutical giant Abbott Laboratories concerning its drug prices and policies on its key AIDS drug, Norvir (ritonavir) and its subsequent derivative drug, Kaletra.
In November 2006, AHF asked Indian anti-HIV drug manufacturer Cipla to reduce the price of its combination drug Viraday from its launch price of about Rs 62,000 per year. Cipla CEO Y. K. Hamied agreed to a price cut.
In March 2008, AHF petitioned drug manufacturers including Abbot, Boehringer Ingelheim, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Gilead, GSK, Merck, Pfizer, Roche and Tibotec to freeze the price of their HIV drugs in the U.S, stating that as a result of regular drug price increases “HIV/AIDS assistance programs will essentially be flat funded and unable to provide access to additional people in need of lifesaving drugs.” In June, the organization applauded decisions by Boehringer Ingelheim and Gilead Sciences to freeze prices on antiretroviral medications purchased by government agencies.
In 2013, AHF backed the successful citywide ballot measure D, which requires city officials to use all available opportunities to reduce the city’s cost of prescription drugs. In addition, it urges state and federal representatives to sponsor legislation to reduce drug prices paid by the government.
In 2016, AHF was at the forefront of supporters of Proposition 61, a California proposition that would have reduced and capped the cost of state-purchased prescription drugs.