AHP News

Alliance Health Project Celebrates 40 Years Strong— Defying Odds Since 1984!

Racism, homophobia, and transphobia make the work at AHP as vital now, as it was forty years ago. In 1984, in the early days of the AIDS epidemic, a group of concerned mental health practitioners founded the AIDS Health Project; their mission was to help AIDS patients and their loved ones who were suffering from the terror, uncertainty, loneliness, and grief associated with this new, devastating disease. The homophobia and AIDS phobia targeting the community in those days increased the despondency for those fighting for their lives and propelled our founders to do everything they could to care for and strengthen those affected.

Defying the Odds logoThroughout the years, including a name and mission change, AHP has grown and expanded to agilely meet the needs of LGBTQ+ community members living with and at risk for HIV/AIDS. As the epidemic has changed, the organization has changed, by building programs and developing services to respond to the changing needs of the community. AHP has been a bedrock of advocacy for clients, the community, and their funders. The Alliance Health Project has a rich and storied history, and they are looking toward their future with purpose and determination. According to Jen Shockey (they/them) Provider Education and Training Manager, “a lot has changed in forty years but LGBTQ+ people face a backlash of conservatism with a record number of anti-LGBTQ+ bills (over 500 were introduced in the US in 2023. These attacks lead to social stigma, societal discrimination, violence, and psychological distress among our community members and the need to provide love, care, and hope is increasing in direct proportion to the assaults.”

AHP insists on providing a safe harbor for their clients, one that is responsive to the behavioral health needs of LGBTQ+ folks with low incomes in San Francisco. As the agency integrates the visions of Will Hua, PhD and Braulio Garcia, LCSW, the new Director and Deputy Director, who will lead the organization into the next chapter of continuing to see clients at the 1930 Market Street Services Center and remotely, while also creating more flexible avenues to care for those who struggle to come to the clinic due to social, economic, cultural, and stigma-related barriers.

Director Hua is hopeful about the future and prepared to advocate for continued funding for this renowned clinic and states “we will continue to advocate for funding and hope to one day see the end of the HIV epidemic by Getting to Zero new infections, deaths, and stigma. We envision a future where there is no stigma to receiving mental health treatment, where it is as ordinary as seeing a dentist. We are committed to building a world where each LGBTQ+ person receives the dignity, acceptance, love, and care they deserve.”

The Alliance Health Project embodies the resilience, commitment, and unwavering dedication to expanding emotional, behavioral, and mental health services to the LGBTQ+ community and those living with, and at risk for HIV. According to Deputy Director Braulio García, “we do this while living the values of care, commitment, diversity, inclusion, equity, and belonging to ensure all underserved populations can access our care.

For donations to "Defying Odds Since 1984" hoodies and t-shirts, and to attend the Open House visit 40th Anniversary.