Forum Keynote Speaker
Michael Weinstein is the president of AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization. Before becoming involved in HIV/AIDS related issues in the 1980s, he was a businessman and graphic designer. Since 1986, Mr. Weinstein has been a leader in the fight against HIV and AIDS. As president and co-founder of AHF, he oversees an $860-million organization whose mission is to provide “cutting-edge medicine and advocacy regardless of ability to pay.” AHF currently serves 308,560 clients in the United States, Africa, Latin/America and the Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific region and Eastern Europe.
Under Weinstein’s leadership, AHF has grown from a group of friends dedicated to the creation of dignified care for people in the last stages of AIDS to the largest AIDS organization in the United States. The Foundation now operates over 200 treatment clinics in 32 countries globally: 37 outpatient AHF Healthcare Centers in 11 states California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, New York, Nevada, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas and Washington, DC. AHF also operates 35 pharmacies in 11 states, a clinical research unit, a disease management program throughout the State of Florida (Positive Healthcare/Florida), and the first capitated Medicaid managed care program for people with AIDS (Positive Healthcare/California).
In 2001, AHF launched AHF Global, a non-profit, international initiative to bring lifesaving antiretroviral therapy to developing and resource-poor countries. AHF Global works in partnership with local stakeholders including ministries of health and non-government organizations to establish sustainable and replicable models for high-quality, sustainable HIV/AIDS healthcare service delivery. With a presence in 28 countries, AHF currently has partnerships and/or operates over 60 free AIDS treatment clinics in countries outside the US including Argentina, Cambodia, China, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Estonia, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Guyana, Greece, Haiti, India, Kenya, Lithuania, Mexico, Nepal, Nigeria, Peru, Portugal, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Swaziland, Thailand, Uganda, Ukraine, Viet Nam and Zambia. AHF countries in development include Brazil in South America; Liberia & Lesotho in Africa; and Myanmar in Asia.
In order to help finance some of the many services AHF provides Weinstein also created the popular fundraising Out of the Closet thrift store chain, the nation’s largest AIDS-related retail business, which contributes to the innovative HIV/AIDS initiatives of AHF. Out of the Closet now boasts 22 stores—10 in Southern California, five in Northern California, four in Florida and one each in Brooklyn, NY, Dallas, TX and Columbus, OH—several of which offer free HIV testing as part of the Foundation’s groundbreaking alternative HIV testing and prevention program.
Before founding AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Weinstein served as coordinator of the Stop the AIDS Quarantine Committee and then as executive director of the Los Angeles AIDS Hospice Committee, which led the fight for hospice care in the mid-eighties.
In 2001, Weinstein was awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree from Whittier College for his career achievements and was recently named one of the top 25 leaders in HIV/AIDS in the 25-year history of the epidemic by “HIV Plus Magazine” in its November/December 2009 issue.