Brief overview of our history
AID FOR AIDS Canada was registered in 2019 as a Charitable Organization focused on providing treatment and services for people with HIV around the world. Originally founded in New York City in 1996 by Jesús Aguais, AID FOR AIDS was conceived out of the simple but innovative idea of recycling unused, unexpired HIV medication and redistributing them to those without access to the costly medicines around the world.
In 1996, the increased availability of antiretroviral therapy had a profound impact on AIDS mortality rates in the United States. Yet in developing countries, life-saving medication remained difficult and expensive to access, while the number of new HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths continued to climb.
Jesús Aguais, an AIDS activist from Venezuela, was working as a counselor at the HIV Clinic of St. Vincent’s Hospital and Medical Center in New York City during this time. He noticed patients would frequently change their antiretroviral treatment regimens, discarding many of the unused pills. Instead of allowing this perfectly good medication to go to waste, Jesús began collecting it in a drawer in his office, urging friends and clients to pass on their leftover medication whenever possible.
The organization has grown to include not only the largest HIV Medicine Recycling Program in the world, but also education, prevention, training, and advocacy programs that target people with HIV in developing countries.
Mission: AID FOR AIDS Canada is a registered Charitable Organization committed to empowering communities at risk of HIV and the population at large, by developing their abilities and capacities in comprehensive prevention through access to treatment, advocacy, education and training to improve their quality of life and reduce stigma and discrimination.
Vision: To be recognized internationally as a successful model of empowerment, built on efficient and sustainable programs with a high social impact, allowing the development of leaders who adopt comprehensive prevention as a lifestyle to promote a better quality of life in the general population.
Programs of AID FOR AIDS Canada
Chronic Disease Response Program: This program aims to provide a solution to the severe medication shortages that affect millions of people in Latin America by purchasing low cost pharmaceuticals and receiving donations from pharmaceutical companies. This AID FOR AIDS initiative provides ARV medication to people with HIV and we have expanded our mission to cover other health conditions, such as multiple sclerosis and autoimmune diseases. For distribution, we partner with the regional hub for Latin America of the United Nations Humanitarian Response Depot (UNHRD) based in Panama, and with international cooperation agencies such as UNAIDS and PAHO.
Interim Executive Director