Mission

AID FOR AIDS is a 501(c)(3) non-profit 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

Our vision is 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.

Values

  • Union
  • Empathy
  • Integrity
  • Equity
  • Solidarity
  • Respect

  • Commitment
  • Credibility
  • Inclusion

Objectives

Besides providing free medication to people with HIV in developing countries who do not have access to treatment, AID FOR AIDS provides prevention education, case management, and advocacy to those with HIV and those affected by the epidemic both internationally and in the United States.

Staff

AID FOR AIDS is comprised of passionate individuals with a deep commitment to our mission. Everyday, our staff works to better the lives of people with HIV and those affected by the epidemic.

Jesús Aguais

Executive Director & Founder
JAguais@aidforaids.org

AFA Headquarters

Jaime Valencia
Director of Operations
JValencia@aidforaids.org

Lupe Aguais
Director of Education Program
LAguais@aidforaids.org

Alicia Molina
Project Manager & Government Affairs Specialist
AMolina@aidforaids.org

Meudy Osío
Healing Venezuela Assistant
MOsio@aidforaids.org

Leonardo Klie
Coordinator: HIV Medicine Recycling Program
LKlie@aidforaids.org

Oscar Peña
Case Manager
OPena@aidforaids.org

Efrén Olivares
Development Lead: HIV Medicine Recycling Program
EOlivares@aidforaids.org

AFA Colombia

Jaime Valencia
Director of Operations
JValencia@aidforaids.org

Johnny Lenín Romero
Project Coordinator: Central Area
LRomero@aidforaids.org

Luis Meneses
National Coordinator in Response to Migrants and Returnees with HIV: Caribbean Coast
LMeneses@aidforaids.org

AFA Dominican Republic

Claudia Messina
President of Board

María De Jesús Valenzuela
Country Director – AFA Dominican Republic
MValenzuela@aidforaids.org

Virginia Moreno
Access to Treatment Program Coordinator
VMoreno@aidforaids.org

Gladis García
Children & Adolescents with HIV Program Coordinator
GGarcia@aidforaids.org

Mayerlin Montilla
Accountant
MMontilla@aidforaids.org

Ibelise Medina
Field Coordinator
IMedina@aidforaids.org

AFA Mexico

Joel Rentería
Accountant
JRenteria@aidforaids.org

AFA Panama

Trina María Aguais
Director of Latin America and the Caribbean
TAguais@aidforaids.org

Roalmar Alviárez
Access to Treatment Program Coordinator
RAlviarez@aidforaids.org

Mario Alexander Cruz
Project Coordinator
ACruz@aidforaids.org

María Claudia Herrera
Interinstitutional Relations and Procurement Coordinator & ¿Cuánto Sabes? Program Facilitator
MHerrera@aidforaids.org

Esilda de Corrales
Psychologist

AFA Peru

Teresa Ayala
Access to Treatment Program Coordinator
TAyala@aidforaids.org

AFA Venezuela

Lupe Aguais
Country Director – AFA Venezuela
LAguais@aidforaids.org

Valentina Pérez Padrón
Education Program Volunteer
VaPerez@aidforaids.org

Alba Álvarez
Access to Treatment Volunteer
AAlvarez@aidforaids.org

Yohely Reyes
Accountant – Volunteer
YReyes@aidforaids.org

Celso Sotelo
Healing Venezuela Volunteer
CSotelo@aidforaids.org

Board

AID FOR AIDS is privileged to work with those on the Board of Directors who have tirelessly championed its causes while providing their unique knowledge and experience as leaders in their field. Meet our Board here:

Chair

Laura Messina Pilson

Treasurer

Julian Iragorri

Secretary

David Roth

Other Board Member

Terry Riley

Founding Members

  • Adriana Cisneros de Griffin
  • Stephen Gendin (in memoriam)­
  • Violy McCausland-Seve

Founder & Executive Director

Jesús Aguais

Honorary Advisory Board

  • Tony Bechara
  • Victoria Benatar
  • Clarissa Bronfman
  • Carlos Campos
  • David Corkery
  • Jose Esparza, MD
  • Carolina Herrera
  • Mitchell S. Kushner MD, MPH
  • Gabriel G. Matus
  • Carlos Mota
  • Gabriela Neri
  • Roxana Olivas
  • Nan Richardson
  • Angel Sanchez
  • Mark Schoofs
  • Ricardo Seco
  • Tom Viola
  • Jackie Weld-Drake
  • Doug White
  • Yliana Yepez
  • Tim Rosta

History

Founded in 1996 by Jesús Aguais, AID FOR AIDS was first conceived as a simple 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 changed 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.

One day, an elderly woman came into the clinic to meet Jesús, the person she had heard about back in her home country. She had sold all of her possessions to travel from Venezuela and plead with him to help her family. Although the clinic could do nothing for her HIV-positive relatives, the medications saved in his drawer were the same antiretrovirals the woman needed for her family—medication they did not have access to in Venezuela.

This one woman and her struggle to find treatment represented to Jesús the thousands of people impacted by HIV worldwide in developing countries. She, and the countless people like her, inspired him to mobilize a group of dedicated and determined individuals to begin AID FOR AIDS. 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.