AIDS Healthcare Foundation

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AIDS Healthcare Foundation
Formation February 1987 (1987-02)
Founder Michael Weinstein
Website aidshealth.org

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) is a Los Angeles based nonprofit provider of HIV prevention services, testing, and healthcare for HIV patients.

Organization, services, and advocacy[edit]

AHF was formed in February 1987.[1] Its founder and president is Michael Weinstein.[2] Charles Farthing was the Medical Director from 2001 to 2007.[3]

In the United States, AHF operates clinics in California, Florida, Louisiana, Nevada, New York, Ohio, South Carolina, and Washington, D.C.[4]

AHF operates the Out of the Closet thrift store chain. AHF acquired the MOMS Pharmacy chain of pharmacies in 2012, and in 2013, rebranded the chain as AHF Pharmacy.[5]

AHF sponsored HIV awareness themed Rose Parade floats in 2012 and 2013, each winning the Queen's Trophy for best use of roses.[6][7]

AHF produced the documentary film Keep The Promise: The Global Fight Against AIDS, depicting the AHF sponsored protest of government anti-HIV funding levels and anti-HIV drug prices at the XIX International AIDS Conference, 2012. The film premiered March 29, 2013 at the Vail Film Festival.[8]

Disputes with drug manufacturers[edit]

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 cited taxes and custom duties on raw materials as reasons for the high price, but agreed to a price cut.[9]

In January 2007, AHF filed suit in Los Angeles over Pfizer's direct to consumer marketing of Viagra, accusing Pfizer of promoting off-label, recreational use of Viagra, and suggesting a link between Viagra, methamphetamine, and unsafe sex. Pfizer denied AHF's claims, and mentioned that AHF had recently asked Pfizer to fund a meth educational program.[10]

In August 2007, AHF began purchasing full-page ads in Indian newspapers accusing Cipla of overpricing. According to AHF, a year's worth of Viraday cost Rs 54,000 when sold in India, but only Rs 21,000 when exported to Africa.[11] Some NGOs declined to join AHF in criticizing Cipla's drug prices, citing a potential conflict of interest: Cipla's opposition to the patent application for Viread, a component of Viraday, filed by AHF contributor Gilead Sciences. Gilead denied involvement in AHF's complaint, and an AHF regional chief stated that AHF also opposed Gilead's patent application for Viread.[12]

Condom laws litigation in Los Angeles and Las Vegas[edit]

In 2004, Darren James and three other adult film actors tested positive for HIV. In response to the outbreak, AHF began lobbying in favor of laws requiring condom use by male actors during sex scenes in adult films.[2]

In 2010, AHF unsuccessfully sued the Los Angeles County government to compel its health department to mandate condom use in adult film productions.[2]

In 2012, AHF supported a Los Angeles city ordinance requiring condoms in certain adult films.[13] Later the same year, the organization spent US$1,654,681 funding the successful campaign to pass Measure B, a ballot initiative that expanded the condom requirement countywide.[14]

AHF again sued the Los Angeles County government, alleging that an August 2012 audit conducted by the county was an illegal retaliation for AHF's support for Measure B.[15][16] In 2013, AHF began collecting signatures for a ballot measure to create a Los Angeles city health department that would take over part of the county health department's jurisdiction.[17] The City of Los Angeles and County of Los Angeles oppose the measure, and the city has filed a lawsuit seeking to invalidate the measure.[18]

In August 2014, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation filed a formal complaint with Nevada OSHA,[19] against Cybernet Entertainment LLC, which does business as [Kink.com] and related spin-offs. The complaint alleges the California porn company did not require its actors to use condoms during an adult film shoot in [Las Vegas].

2014 attempt to oust president[edit]

In April 2014 Eric Paul Leue started a petition seeking the removal of Michael Weinstein as president of the organization.[20] The primary reason for this were public comments made by Weinstein regarding the Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) anti-AIDs medication Truvada.[21] Weinstein had referred to the treatment as a "party drug".[22] Although many in the scientific and medical communities are in favor of PrEP medications, Weinstein has opposed it for more than two years.[23] The Fenway Institute, which advocates for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, along with several other HIV organizations are in favor of using drugs such as Truvada in addition to risk reduction counseling and condoms to prevent HIV transmission.[24]

Prior to starting the petition, Leue resigned from being the face of an AHF funded campaign to raise awareness for HIV/STI testing due to Michael Weinstein's "party drug" comment.[20] The campaign was produced by an AHF sub-committee called LEASH, headed by Andrew Orozco.[25] Prior to resigning from the campaign, Leue asked Weinstein to apologize to the public for his comment, to release a press statement detailing Leue's pro-education free of stigma and discrimination stance and for Weinstein to participate in a panel of multiple organizations (incl. the adult film industry) to find common ground in their shared objective to prevent HIV transmissions. Orozco was in full support of Leue's request, but the AHF director of communications, Ged Kenslea, informed Leue that the AHF would not agree to any of his requests.[21]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "GuideStar Exchange Report for AIDS Healthcare Foundation". GuideStar. Retrieved 17 March 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c McDonald, Patrick Range (28 January 2010). "Rubbers Revolutionary: AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s Michael Weinstein". LA Weekly. Retrieved 11 March 2013. 
  3. ^ Gazzard, Brian (11 May 2014). "Charles Farthing obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 May 2014. 
  4. ^ "AHF Healthcare Centers". AIDS Healthcare Foundation. Retrieved 29 August 2014. 
  5. ^ DeArment, Alaric (18 January 2013). "AIDS Healthcare Foundation to rebrand MOMS Pharmacy". Drug Store News (Lebhar-Friedman). Retrieved 11 March 2013. 
  6. ^ Ocamb, Karen (2 January 2012). "AHF’s Rose Parade Tribute to Elizabeth Taylor Wins ‘Queen’s Trophy’". LGBT|POV. Frontiers. Retrieved 11 March 2013. 
  7. ^ Gerber, Marisa (1 January 2013). "Rose Parade 2013: List of float award winners". L.A. Now. Tribune Company. Retrieved 11 March 2013. 
  8. ^ "Keep The Promise: The Global Fight Against AIDS". Vail Film Festival. Retrieved 16 March 2013. 
  9. ^ Balakrishnan, Reghu (15 November 2006). "Cipla cuts AIDS drug price". Daily News and Analysis. Retrieved 16 March 2013. 
  10. ^ Roehr, Bob (25 January 2007). "Pfizer sued over Viagra ads". Bay Area Reporter. Retrieved 16 March 2013. 
  11. ^ "MRTPC lens on Cipla’s AIDS drugs for Africa". The Economic Times. 21 August 2007. Retrieved 17 March 2013. 
  12. ^ Singh, Khomba (1 September 2007). "Anti-AIDS blitz sees pharma firms locked in ugly battle". The Economic Times. Retrieved 17 March 2013. 
  13. ^ O’Neill, Stephanie (12 October 2012). "Los Angeles Measure B: Mandating Condom Use in Adult Films". The California Report. KQED. Retrieved 9 March 2013. 
  14. ^ "Measure B: Safer Sex in The Adult Film Industry". Voter's Edge. Retrieved 9 March 2013. 
  15. ^ Watanabe, Wendy L. (16 August 2012). "Audit of AIDS Healthcare Foundation". Los Angeles County Auditor-Controller. Retrieved 11 March 2013. 
  16. ^ Reynolds, Matt (10 December 2012). "AIDS Group Says L.A. County Has Vendetta". Courthouse News Service. Retrieved 11 March 2013. 
  17. ^ Linthicum, Kate; Gorman, Anna (10 March 2013). "AIDS group wants L.A. to break with county health department". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 11 March 2013. 
  18. ^ Stoltze, Frank (30 September 2013). "City of LA asks court to block public health initiative; read the full complaint". Represent!. Southern California Public Radio. Retrieved 4 October 2013. 
  19. ^ "Vegas Porn Shoot Draws Condom Complaint". 
  20. ^ a b Leue, Eric. "Petitioning AIDS Healthcare Foundation Remove Weinstein". Change.org. Retrieved 17 April 2014. 
  21. ^ a b Staff. "Petition Seeks to Oust Weinstein as President of AHF Reason #1 of many: He called HIV-preventative drug Truvada 'a party drug.'". Adult Video News. Retrieved 17 April 2014. 
  22. ^ Crary, David. "Truvada, HIV Prevention Drug, Divides Gay Community". Huffington Post. Retrieved 17 April 2014. 
  23. ^ Hymes, Tom. "AHF Argues Against HIV Prevention Drug in Favor of Condoms". Adult Video News. Retrieved 17 April 2014. 
  24. ^ Beasley, Deena. "HIV pill for prevention debated as FDA ruling nears". Reuters. Retrieved 17 April 2014. 
  25. ^ "Andrew Orozco IMDB Biography".