SF nonprofit says HIV/AIDS services will be cut at end of month without funding

ByTim Johns KGO logo
Tuesday, June 6, 2023
SF nonprofit says HIV/AIDS services to be cut without funding
San Francisco nonprofit AGUILAS says they'll no longer be able to provide HIV/AIDS services after government funding stops at the end of this month,

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- It could be the end of the road for one San Francisco nonprofit that provides HIV/AIDS services. AGUILAS says after government funding stops at the end of this month, they'll no longer be able to provide help for those in need.

"We gave notice to the staff saying that unless things change, that June 30 will be the last date," said Eduardo Morales.

AGUILAS has served San Francisco since the 1990s, providing HIV/AIDS services for some of the most vulnerable members of our community.

"We're the only agency in San Francisco that does all of our services in Spanish, English and Portuguese. So essentially what it means is the Portuguese speakers will be knocked out of services for HIV prevention throughout the entire city," said Morales.

Morales is AGUILAS' executive director.

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He says while they'll still be able to provide other services, their organization, and the people they serve, will take a hit.

Morales worries that many patients will simply fall out of system and not get the critical care they need.

"About 40% of the people we do serve are diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, and the others are at high risk for contracting HIV/AIDS," Morales said.

AGUILAS isn't alone either.

On Monday afternoon, the San Francisco AIDS Foundation hosted a rally outside of city hall.

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There they called on elected leaders to fund a variety of HIV-related programs.

"This is a life or death issue. We can't wait any longer for funding and resources to protect our most vulnerable members of our community," said Ande Stone of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation.

The San Francisco Department of Public Health says this year, they are maintaining their grant funding for HIV programs.

Morales, though, argues that with the cost of treating someone who contracts HIV/AIDS running into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, that often it's better to treat problems before they arise.

"If you start accumulating that, well then you say penny wise, dollar foolish," Morales said.

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