Cutting Edge Medicine and Advocacy Regardless of Ability to Pay

A cutting-edge organization that's helped millions

Beyond its work as a highly effective global AIDS organization, the AHF story also provides a blueprint for every kind of righteous rebel who wants to make the world a better place.

AIDS Healthcare Foundation's Story

AHF was started by a handful of friends who had no money, lots of grit, and an intense desire to comfort the dying, eventually serving the world's most vulnerable people.
AHF grew into a billion-dollar nonprofit by fearlessly rocking the proverbial boat.
AHF breaks the chains of sickness, stigma, and discrimination, and helps people reclaim their personal freedom.
In addition to battling a lethal disease that's still taking more than one million lives every year, AIDS Healthcare Foundation is fighting a global epidemic of mediocrity and indifference.
The Story of AIDS Healthcare Foundation
With unrestricted insider access, Patrick Range McDonald digs into AHF's history while also following the nonprofit for a year as it clashes with the Obama administration, the state of Nevada, and the World Health Organization.
He interviews key players, including firebrand president Michael Weinstein, and he travels to AHF outposts around the globe -- from Miami to Uganda, Cambodia to Russia, Estonia to South Africa -- to see firsthand the organization's cutting-edge, life-saving work.
McDonald reports back about the current state of the global AIDS epidemic and discovers that AHF is a passionate, smart, and tenacious "people power" organization that brings hope and change to nearly all corners of the world.
Cutting Edge Medicine and Advocacy Regardless of Ability to Pay

A cutting-edge organization that's helped millions

Beyond its work as a highly effective global AIDS organization, the AHF story also provides a blueprint for every kind of righteous rebel who wants to make the world a better place.

AIDS Healthcare Foundation's Story

AIDS Healthcare Foundation was started by a handful of friends who had no money, lots of grit, and an intense desire to comfort the dying, eventually serving the world's most vulnerable people.
AHF grew into a billion-dollar nonprofit by fearlessly rocking the proverbial boat.
AHF breaks the chains of sickness, stigma, and discrimination, and helps people reclaim their personal freedom.
In addition to battling a lethal disease that's still taking more than one million lives every year, AIDS Healthcare Foundation is fighting a global epidemic of mediocrity and indifference.
The Story of AIDS Healthcare Foundation
With unrestricted insider access, McDonald follows AHF for a year as it clashes with the Obama administration, the state of Nevada, and the World Health Organization.
He interviews key players, including firebrand president Michael Weinstein, and he travels to AHF outposts around the globe -- from Miami to Uganda, Cambodia to Russia, Estonia to South Africa -- to see firsthand the organization's cutting-edge, life-saving work.
McDonald reports back about the current state of the global AIDS epidemic and discovers that AHF is a passionate, smart, and tenacious "people power" organization that brings hope and change to nearly all corners of the world.

Explore the Inspirational World of AHF

Keep The Promise 2016: Durban, South Africa

Keep The Promise 2016: Durban, South Africa

The People's Hope

The People's Hope

AIDS is a Civil Rights Issue: Los Angeles

AIDS is a Civil Rights Issue: Los Angeles

Snapshots of AHF's Bold History

Snapshots of AHF's Bold History


"At AHF, like-minded activists around the world banded together to create a life-saving movement ​ -- and​ became a real-life, global example of 'people power' in action."

-- Righteous Rebels

AHF Timeline – 1986-2015

1986

Los Angeles activists start Stop the AIDS Quarantine Committee to defeat California’s Proposition 64, a statewide ballot measure that could create “concentration camps” for people living with HIV and AIDS. The quarantine committee is instrumental in defeating the initiative.

1986

Soon after the Proposition 64 victory, Stop the AIDS Quarantine Committee members start Los Angeles AIDS Hospice Committee. The new advocacy group holds a high-profile public hearing on the AIDS crisis in Los Angeles County. The event details the numerous failures of local government to adequately serve people living with AIDS, and plays a key role in the creation of a strong grassroots AIDS movement in L.A.

1987

L.A. AIDS Hospice Committee members create AIDS Hospice Foundation, which starts with only one, full-time employee and a $50,000 budget. The foundation advocates for hospice care for terminally ill AIDS patients in L.A. County.

1988

AHF opens Chris Brownlie Hospice near Dodger Stadium to provide humane, dignified care for terminally ill AIDS patients. Nearly 1,200 people die at the facility between 1988 and 1996.

1989

AHF co-founder Chris Brownlie dies from AIDS.

1990

AIDS Hospice Foundation changes name to AIDS Healthcare Foundation, starting the transition into a medical care provider for people with HIV and AIDS.

1990

In Los Angeles, AHF opens its first Out of the Closet thrift store—the organization’s first venture into self-sustaining “social enterprise.” The thrift store turns into a nationwide chain.

1991

In Los Angeles, AHF opens its first healthcare clinic for people living HIV/AIDS. Two decades later, the organization manages more than 220 free HIV treatment clinics in more than 30 countries.

1992

AHF opens Carl Bean House in underserved South Los Angeles—the hospice facility offers care to terminally ill African American and Latino patients with AIDS.

1995

AHF launches the nation’s first capitated managed care program, Positive Healthcare, for people living with AIDS.

1996

AHF opens its last hospice facility: Linn House in West Hollywood, California.

1996

To ensure that AHF patients have access to the new, life-saving “AIDS cocktail,” the organization pays for the expensive medication out of pocket with no government reimbursement. AHF faces financial ruin, but pulls through.

2000

With nearly 8,200 clients, AHF becomes the largest non-profit provider of HIV/AIDS medical care in the U.S.

2000

In Los Angeles, AHF opens its first pharmacy—another venture in social enterprise. By 2014, AHF Pharmacy, which generates crucial revenue that funds the organization’s global program, expands to 37 outlets across the U.S.

2002

Despite strong opposition from the South African government, AHF opens its first free HIV treatment center outside the U.S. in Durban, South Africa. Started as a 100-person “pilot program,” the clinic serves more than 12,000 clients by 2014. Throughout South Africa, in 2014, AHF serves more than 44,000 clients.

2002

AHF opens a free HIV treatment center in Masaka, Uganda. It grows from a 100-person pilot program to serving more than 10,000 clients in 2014. Across the country, AHF serves more than 47,000 clients in 2014.

2003

AHF plays key role in the creation of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the landmark global AIDS program pushed forward by U.S. President George W. Bush. AHF successfully demands an earmark for HIV treatment funding, and millions of AIDS sufferers around the world now have better access to life-saving antiretroviral drug therapy.

2004

AHF continues to fight aggressively for lower HIV drug prices so people around the globe have better access to antiretroviral therapy.

2005

AHF provides free HIV treatment services in the U.S., Latin America, Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe.

2006

With an operating budget of $128 million, AHF serves more than 53,000 clients in more than 15 countries.

2007

AHF’s cutting-edge marketing department develops social media campaigns to educate a younger generation about the continued threat of AIDS.

2009

AHF creates its own brand of free, high-quality condoms known as Love condoms, and distributes tens of millions around the globe.

2010

AHF conducts “Testing America” tour, providing free HIV testing in 48 states and raising awareness about HIV and AIDS.

2010

AHF holds “die-ins” in the U.S. to protest rising drug costs.

2010

AHF conducts more than 500,000 free HIV tests worldwide as part of its ongoing “test and treat” campaign.

2011

AHF serves 166,000 clients in 25 countries.

2012

AHF launches “Condom Nation” campaign, which distributes free condoms across the U.S. and raises awareness about safer sex.

2013

AHF serves 276,000 clients in 32 countries and operates with an $857-million budget. AHF performs nearly 2 million free HIV tests worldwide and distributes nearly 34 million free condoms.

2013

AHF kicks off “20x20” campaign, which challenges the world to bring 20 million people into HIV treatment by the year 2020. AHF pledges to provide care for 1 million of them.

2015

Twenty-eight years after its founding, AHF hits major milestone, serving over 500,000 clients around the globe.

Patrick Range McDonald has won numerous awards, including the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism.

The Author


Patrick Range McDonald was a longtime staff writer at L.A. Weekly, one of the top alternative newspapers in the United States. He won numerous awards, including “Journalist of the Year” from the Los Angeles Press Club, the “Public Service” award from the Association of Alternative Newsmedia, and the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism.

He was also co-writer of former Los Angeles Mayor Richard J. Riordan’s memoir, "The Mayor: How I Turned Around Los Angeles After Riots, an Earthquake and the O.J. Simpson Murder Trial." The well-received book landed on the New York Times and Los Angeles Times best seller lists.

During his research for "Righteous Rebels," McDonald traveled all over the United States and to 14 countries on five continents, seeing firsthand the invaluable work of AHF and its hard-charging crusade to change the world.