While it is ordinarily considered “bad form” to toot your own horn, we MUST. Our very own Founding Director, Jesus Aguais, will be receiving the prestigious Dennis de Leon Voz de Compromiso (Voice of Commitment) Award from the Latino Commission on AIDS on May 18th at its annual fundraising gala, Cielo Latino. The award honors the selflessness and commitment of persons living with HIV/AIDS who, through example, have dedicated themselves to enlighten the public about it.
We couldn’t be more proud nor is there a person more deserving. From its humble beginnings as a simple, yet life-saving, medication Recycling Program to its multi-faceted hemispheric program delivery today, Jesus has masterfully guided this ship since it set sail in 1996. Jesus began the organization with the basic observation of useful and safe AIDS medicine going to waste because someone’s prescription had changed or it had been over-ordered. He began by squirreling away bottles here and there and later founded AID FOR AIDS International based on the simple premise that here were life-saving remedies that people living with AIDS could use if only they were put into the right hands.
Today AFAI has become the largest HIV medication recycling organization in the world. Under his leadership, the organization has grown to encompass a wide variety of services that includes providing access to antiretroviral treatment to thousands of people, HIV education program for adolescents, a children’s program that helps youngsters with HIV, case management initiatives for immigrants living with HIV in New York and an advocacy initiative for their health and human rights.
Let’s all congratulate Jesus for the amazing work he has done so far and wish him more of the same for the future.