The $9.5 million center, located at 25 Van Ness Ave., is under the jurisdiction of the San Francisco Department of Public Health's Office of AIDS, which was set up in 1982 in response to the burgeoning AIDS epidemic in the city.
The renovation project, funded by a federal stimulus grant, is expected to be completed in 2013 and will add 8,000 square feet to the 9,000-square-foot center, creating additional space for research and examination rooms, as well as counseling services, according to the mayor's office.
"The AIDS Office is a world-class research center that deserves a world-class facility. Today marks the beginning of that achievement," Lee said in a statement.
The research done by San Francisco's AIDS Office helped lead to the discovery of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, by tracking new cases among residents and studying the occurrence of AIDS among thousands of gay and bisexual men, according to the mayor's office.
For more information about the office, visit www.sfhiv.org.