Who We Are

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.

Staff

Jesus Aguais

Executive Director and Founder
JAguais@aidforaids.org

AFA Headquarters

Jaime Valencia
Director of Operations
jvalencia@aidforaids.org

Lupe Aguais
Venezuela Director / Education and Training Director
Laguais@aidforaids.org

Leonardo Klie
Coordinator, HIV Recycling Program
LKlie@aidforaids.org

Alicia Molina
Public Policy & Government Affairs Specialist
Amolina@aidforaids.org

Oscar Peña
Case Manager
Opena@aidforaids.org

 

AFA COLOMBIA

Eduardo Hernandez
AIDS Access Treatment Program Coordinator
EHernandez@aidforaids.org

AFA DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

JUNTA DIRECTIVA

Claudia Messina
PRESIDENTE

Maria De Jesús Valenzuela
Directora
mvalenzuela@aidforaids.org

Virginia Moreno
Directora Asistente. Coordinadora de Acceso a tratamiento
vmoreno@aidforaids.org

Gladis García
Coordinadora Programa de niños, niñas y adolescente
Ggarcia@aidforaids.org

AFA New York

 

AFA PANAMA

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

Roalmar Alviárez
General Coordinator
ralviarez@aidforaids.org

Mario Alexander Cruz
Project Coordinator
Acruz@aidforaids.org

AFA PERU

AFA VENEZUELA

Lupe Aguais
Director
Laguais@aidforaids.org

Valentina Pérez Padrón
Education and Training Coordinator
Vaperez@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:

Board Members

Treasurer

Alejandro Santo Domingo

Secretary

David Roth 

Julian Iragorri

Laura Messina Pilson

Terry Riley

Founding Members

Adriana Cisneros de Griffin

Stephen Gendin (in memoriam)­

Maria Eugenia Maury

Violy McCausland-Seve

Founder

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

Nora Ochoa de Ellis

Roxana Olivas

Nan Richardson

Angel Sanchez

Mark Schoofs

Ricardo Seco

Alvaro Tafur

Tom Viola

Jackie Weld-Drake

Doug White

Yliana Yepez

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 drugs around the world…

Full History

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.

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 and AIDS 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.

Testimonials:

AFA saves one more life in Venezuela

One afternoon in May we received an email from Caracas, Venezuela. Among the many e-mails we had received lately that related to the current Venezuelan pharmaceutical crisis, this one stood out. Ricardo told us the story of his wife, who had just been diagnosed with HIV in February, and was also 33-weeks pregnant. It wouldn't be long before Angélica gave birth to her baby in a hospital in Venezuela. Through that e-mail we could feel Angélica and Ricardo's concern about their baby's future.  Ricardo requested AZT pediatric (Zidovudina), which had to be given to their baby during the weeks following birth... [Read More]

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