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    SF AIDS Foundation Launches Public Campaign to Fund New Castro Health Center: ‘Strut’

    San Francisco AIDS Foundation launched the public phase of “The Campaign for Health & Wellness,” having raised more than $12.2 million of its $15 million goal. The campaign funds the programmatic expansion and renovation costs associated with its groundbreaking new center for gay and bisexual men’s health and wellness at 470 Castro Street. Slated to open in October, the new center is named “Strut,” and brings together the foundation’s well-known and popular free services for sexual health, substance use and mental health, and community engagement and support.

    “We’re grateful for the campaign’s tremendous early momentum—a clear testament to the hunger that exists in our community to make San Francisco the first city to end HIV transmission,” said Tom Perrault, chair of the Campaign for Health & Wellness and former board chair of San Francisco AIDS Foundation. “Major donors and institutional partners really stepped up during the quiet phase, and we’re excited to invite the community to join us, help forge a groundbreaking new model and ensure the programs are fully funded for years to come.”

    Strut co-locates the sexual health services of Magnet, the substance use and mental health counseling services of Stonewall, and the community-building and support programs of Bridgemen and Positive Force. Two of the newest San Francisco AIDS Foundation programs designed to address the needs of young, gay and bisexual African-American men (the DREAAM Project), and men over the age of 50 (the 50-Plus Network) will also be located at Strut. The new, larger location enables the foundation to expand case management services by 25%, mental health counseling by 25%, substance use and harm reduction counseling by 50%, and HIV and STI screening by up to 40%.

    The name “Strut” was selected for its multi-dimensionality—it is both a verb meaning “to walk with pride and confidence,” and also a noun referring to a beam that provides structural support. The name and identity were developed pro-bono by Heat, a San Francisco-based creative agency. Heat’s yearlong brand development process was guided by primary and secondary research, interviews with community leaders, creative workshops with foundation staff and focus groups with clients and other community members.

    “We knew we had tremendous responsibility to develop a new name as exciting as the innovative model it represents, especially considering the affection that exists in the community for our three program brands that will come together to form Strut,” said Neil Giuliano, San Francisco AIDS Foundation CEO. “Strut is celebratory, unique, a little quirky and memorable, just like San Francisco. That’s why it works—but at the end of the day, it’s not about the name, it’s about coming together to build a stronger, healthier and more vibrant community.”

    The new model at Strut was developed following a 2011 study by Bain & Company, a top management consulting firm. Bain worked with the foundation pro-bono to help determine how the agency could better meet the needs of gay and bisexual men and chart a path towards ending HIV transmission in San Francisco. The team identified a compelling need to co-locate individual existing programs serving gay and bisexual men, offer new programs to address unmet need and pivot away from a focus on disease identification and management towards a new model that promotes holistic health and wellness.

    “Strut is a revolutionary new model for San Francisco and one that addresses a clear need—I expect that we will get between a third and half of gay and bisexual men in San Francisco coming through the doors of Strut in the very first year,” said Tim Patriarca, executive director of Strut. “Co-locating our services in a beautiful, larger, central community space will help us serve even more people with the sexual health, substance use, mental health and community programs we are known for. With the opening of Strut, we absolutely have the potential to make a positive impact on the lives of so many people in our community.”

    The Campaign for Health & Wellness is a four-year, $15 million major fundraising campaign to establish the first-ever home for health and wellness for gay and bisexual men in order to help make San Francisco the first city to end HIV transmission. Naming opportunities exist for major donors within the building. Programmatic naming opportunities are also available. For example, the foundation is grateful for the support of the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, which made a five-year pledge to support and secure naming rights to the 50-Plus Network, which will henceforth be known as the “Elizabeth Taylor 50-Plus Network.”

    Learn more about the campaign and get involved at http://strutsf.org/wellnesscampaign

    To learn more about Strut and receive updates as it prepares to open, visit http://strutsf.org

    HIV and AIDS Fact Sheet

    San Francisco

    People Living with HIV and AIDS

    San Francisco has one of the largest HIV-positive populations in the United States with an estimated 15,979 people living with HIV.

    Of the total number of San Franciscans living with HIV/AIDS, 9,567 were living with AIDS at the end of 2014. AIDS is a late-stage of HIV disease defined by a low count of CD4 cells.

    Gay and bisexual men of all ages and ethnicities continue to bear the brunt of the disease and 86% of new HIV diagnoses are among gay and bisexual men.

    New Diagnoses

    In 2014, there were 302 newly diagnosed HIV cases, a decrease in number from recent years.

    Of those newly diagnosed with HIV in 2014, 93% identified as male, 86% were men who have sex with men, a majority (54%) were between 30–49 years old, and 45% were white.

    In the past five years, the proportion of Latinos (21% in 2009 to 27% in 2014) and Asian/Pacific Islanders (8% to 13%) who make up new HIV diagnoses has increased. The proportion of new diagnoses among people ages 25 to 29 years dropped from 21% to 17% between 2013 and 2014.

    African-Americans are disproportionately represented among new HIV infections, with 11% of new diagnoses among African-Americans in 2014, while only 6% of San Francisco’s population is African-American.

    Neighborhoods showing the most new HIV diagnoses are located in central parts of the city in the Castro, Western Addition, Tenderloin, South of Market, and Mission. Not only did the Castro have the highest rates of new HIV diagnoses with 294 new cases per 100,000 people, its rate was more than three times the San Francisco average. Other high rates were reported in the Tenderloin (189 per 100,000 people) and Potrero Hill (132 per 100,000 people).

    HIV and AIDS Care

    Nearly three-quarters (70%) of all newly diagnosed people living with HIV are engaged in ongoing proper care for three to nine months after their first medical visit.

    Among all people living with HIV—whether diagnosed or not—60% have their virus under control (are virally suppressed) compared to 30% nationally. Viral suppression is associated with better health outcomes and less likelihood of transmitting the virus to others.

    On average, 62% of people newly diagnosed with HIV achieve viral suppression within a year of diagnosis in San Francisco. Neighborhoods that fall below this average include the Bayview (49%), the Outer Mission (56%), and the Tenderloin (59%).

    Survival after AIDS diagnosis is worse for African-Americans than for other racial/ethnic groups. The five-year survival probability among people diagnosed with AIDS between 2001 and 2014 was 78% for African-Americans compared to 85% for whites, 87% for Latinos, and 91% for Asian/Pacific Islanders.

    In 2014, more than 58% of those living with HIV in San Francisco were over fifty years old. A decade ago, in 2005, only 38% of those living with HIV were over fifty.

    California

    In California, an estimated 119,878 people are living with HIV and AIDS. Of these, an estimated 73,291 were living with AIDS at the end of December 2013.

    In 2013, there were 4,636 newly diagnosed HIV cases in California. An estimated 11% of Californians with HIV do not know their status.

    As of December 2014, the state has lost 96,443 people who had an AIDS diagnosis. These deaths may or may not have been related to AIDS.

    United States

    In the United States, an estimated 929,646 people are living with HIV/AIDS.

    In 2013, there were 42,018 newly diagnosed HIV cases in the United States. This number has remained relatively stable since 2008.

    As of 2012, approximately 658,507 people who had an AIDS diagnoses have died. These deaths may or may not have been related to AIDS.

    Data was provided to the “San Francisco Bay Times” by the San Francisco AIDS Foundation.