STOP AIDS Project Timeline
Created by stopaids on Feb 10, 2009
Last updated: 03/11/10 at 10:01 AM
Tags: aids hiv stop aids project san francisco
STOP AIDS Project begins distributing a brochure titled “I Just Found Out I Have HIV, Now What?” to hundreds of HIV testing sites, clinics, and doctors’ offices throughout the city. The brochure briefly reflects common reactions to receiving an HIV positive test result and provides information about the Positive Living for Us Seminar (PLUS). This brochure will assists medical providers in linking HIV positive gay, bi, and trans men with community resources.
Positive Force begins weekly drop-in group for newly diagnosed men.
Positive Force launches “Magnetic Love,” a monthly group produced by and for men in mixed HIV status relationships. The group helps men explore and share the challenges and rewards of being in a relationship of mixed HIV status.
Positive Force launches new efforts to rally momentum in reducing new HIV infections in San Francisco. Positive Force begins an intensified effort to focus on newly diagnosed, those in denial, those in sero-discordant relationships, and community peer support among HIV positive men.
STOP AIDS Project begins new program launch by holding a series of meetings with volunteers, key community members, and public health officials.
In what is believed to be a first-in-the-nation approach, the STOP AIDS Project launches a new suite of programs focusing on sexual networks. STOP AIDS hires six sexual network coordinators covering bars and clubs; public and commercial sex venues; the internet; African-Americans; gyms; and the leather community. The new approach broadens the focus from individuals to the web of sexual relationships among. These partnerships form the dynamic network across which HIV and other STDs are transmitted men and help explain the diversity of risk within various segments of the community. Modifying survey and focus group questions STOP AIDS will be able to focus prevention efforts in the venues where medium and high-risk men meet their partners. Strategies in these venues will include social marketing, individual risk reduction, and structural interventions.
STOP AIDS Project premiers “Shining A Light on HIV” a large-scale video installation in the Castro over Pride weekend. The 8 minute video is a montage of short spots covering a full spectrum of HIV prevention issues.
Positive Force produces Club Life, the City’s first HIV positive friendly club. The event is designed to increase social cohesiveness among HIV positive men, attract young positive men to support services, and provide a safe space where one’s status as an HIV positive gay man is assumed.
STOP AIDS launches “Crystal Clear” aimed at recreational users of crystal meth (speed) and those who have never used but are considering it. The campaign works to inform them of the close association between crystal abuse, risky sexual behavior, and HIV transmission. In addition, the campaign enables those recovering from crystal abuse and those who have been affected by a loved one’s crystal abuse to get involved in community change.
Men dressed as hunky firemen distribute hundreds of postcards on a Friday night about the dangers of crystal meth abuse and HIV transmission. On the corner of 18th and Castro a SFFD ambulance adds to the theme by running its lights continuously during the outreach event. The outreach event is followed a week later by a community forum about getting involved in community organizing efforts.
The first Black PLUS is produced by Positive Force and Our Love. Recognizing the need for Black gay and bi men to have conversations that they would otherwise not have in mixed race environments. Black PLUS continues to be produced.
STOP AIDS Project launches “Are You Up to Speed?” social marketing campaign and a community forum. The campaign is fact based and informs the community about crystal meth’s close association with new HIV infections. The campaign materials close with the question “Are you up to this?”
Our Love produces Black Men in the Castro One and Two with Magnet to discuss issues of race and racism in the community, its impact on people of color and white people, and racism’s effect on HIV prevalence among men of color.
STOP AIDS Project produces “Change” a booklet aimed at gay and bi men 40 and older. Older gay and bi men continue to be among those getting HIV. This campaign addressed life stressors and life changes that may help contribute to older men putting themselves at risk for HIV.
STOP AIDS is denied funding in a new granting cycle and informed that the organization had qualified for funding but that there were not enough funds. Months later media reports reveal that at least one abstinence-only organization had received funding without even applying and Congress members demand an investigation. STOP AIDS had received CDC funding continuously for the past twelve, built several model programs replicated throughout the country, and successfully produced a demonstration project for the CDC as recently as twelve months before.
STOP AIDS holds community forum for HIV positive men and crystal meth. The featured panelist is Peter Staley, creator of “Huge Sale, Buy Meth Get, HIV For Free” Social Marketing Campaign in Manhattan.
The CDC writes Congress, “The team concludes that the design and delivery of STOP AIDS Project prevention activities was based on current accepted behavioral science theories in the area of health promotion.” These findings affirm, once again, that STOP AIDS is following federal guidelines, accounting practices, and is using current, effective and scientifically sounds strategies to prevent the spread of HIV among gay, bi and trans men in San Francisco.
An unprecedented collation of 151 AIDS organizations band together to assail the Bush Administration’s handling of HIV prevention in light of continued attacks on STOP AIDS Project and public health researchers working with gay and bisexual men. The letter concludes, “We call on you to halt the regressive policies of censorship and intimidation, both regulatory and informal, that put American lives at risk.”
Our Love debuts “Soul in the Woods” a weekend retreat in nature for Black gay and bi men.
LeatherFUCK events and other STOP AIDS Project workshops come under government scrutiny… again. The new round of threats energizes LeatherFUCK participants and attracts new members. STOP AIDS and leather community partners hold a Town Hall Meeting to discuss the future of the intervention and decide to continue the work with nongovernmental funding.
A Health and Human Services audit finds that STOP AIDS Project followed proper procedures in spending federal funds and is “a gold standard” in accounting practices.
HHS Secretary Thompson expands the review of STOP AIDS to include “all department funded HIV/AIDS activities” and a new audit of HIV-related projects at the CDC. This happens one month after a $1 million review was completed. As these reviews occur Thompson refuses to investigate an abstinence only program in Louisiana despite a federal court ruling that they illegally used federal funds to promote religion.
Federal investigators from the CDC visit STOP AIDS offices at the request of conservative Congress members to investigate claims that the organization used federal funds to produce obscene materials that promote sex. Tom Coates of UCSF Center for AIDS Prevention studies and dozens of other organizations across the nation characterize the investigation as a “witch hunt” designed to intimidate other groups doing HIV prevention among gay and bi men. Other organizations are also threatened with audits as a result of protesting Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson at an AIDS conference in Barcelona.
STOP AIDS produces a report detailing agency activities, from July 2001 to June 2002 more 3,500 gay, bi and tran men had attended the 284 STOP AIDS workshops and events. More than 700 men had attended STOP AIDS Community Forums and Town Halls.
Condoms Now! program distributes more than 4 million condoms since its inception in 1997 and begins to distribute lube packets as well. In 2002, more than 100,000 individual lube packages are distributed.
STOP AIDS Project produces “HIV Is No Picnic” a social marketing campaign conceived by HIV positive men to communicate to HIV negative men the realities of being HIV positive. This campaign was designed to counter a widely held perception among HIV negative men that contracting HIV is no longer something to be concerned about.
Bush’s AIDS Czar defends the STOP AIDS Project in the media against federal harassment. Five months later he “departs from his post.”
STOP AIDS program catch the eye of the federal government and is accused of producing “obscene” materials that “promote sex.” Conservative Congress members and activists begin a three year campaign to defund organizations that work with gay and bi men and other high-risk communities in favor of faith-based abstinence-only programs.
Q Action begins holding weekly “Guy Watch” events for young men to talk about topical issues, socialize with other young men, and get critical HIV prevention information.
Our Love hosts “Black and Silver,” a monthly potluck produced in collaboration with AIDS Health Project for older Black men.
In Our Prime begins holding monthly “Sunday Socials” for gay and bi men over the age of 45. The Sunday Socials consistently attract an average of 15-25 older men.
The world commemorates 20 years of living with HIV and AIDS. The STOP AIDS Project with community activists hold a “die-in” on Castro Street to memorialize those lost to AIDS and to protest current Administration policies and funding of HIV treatment and prevention.
The first annual Geezers’ Ball is held. Each year hundreds of men, their partners and friends swing dance the night away at the Geezers’ Ball, the largest Pride month celebration of aging and life. Geezer’s Ball is produced in collaboration with the STOP AIDS Project’s In Our Prime program, Midlife Gay Men, San Francisco Prime Timers, New Leaf Outreach to Elders, and Openhouse.
TrannyFags workshops are introduced by STOP AIDS providing females-to-males a safe space, among peers, to talk about HIV, gender, sex and gay male culture.
STOP AIDS launches elders program in response to rising HIV infections among older gay and bi men. In Our Prime involves midlife and older men in the design and development of different activities, monthly socials, and trains and utilizes them as peer educators. In its first five short years, In Our Prime sponsored or co-hosted over 60 events that drew over 3,000 men between the ages of 21-94.
Positive Force becomes the home of the Positive Living For Us Seminar (PLUS). PLUS provides individuals with HIV, and their loved ones, with information and support in a weekend long seminar that helps them cope with their diagnosis and navigate through the health care system. PLUS is the only early intervention program of its kind in Northern California. In 1995 a group of dedicated individuals moved PLUS to San Francisco from Los Angeles. PLUS in San Francisco is dedicated it's creator Alfredo Armendariz who believed that every individual who tests positive and their lovers and friends should have support, community and the opportunity to attend the PLUS Seminar. The STOP AIDS Project is committed to keeping Alfredo's dream alive.
STOP AIDS Project creates Positive Force, one of the first prevention programs in the country by and for people with HIV. At least 20% of newly HIV positive gay and bi men in San Francisco attend Positive Force or PLUS programs every year. Positive Force began as part of a citywide collaborative centered around the “HIV Stops With Me” media campaign designed by Better World Advertising and replicated across the country.
Q Action and the Latino Youth Coordinator begin producing Chico Chats for young Latino gay, bi and trans men.
STOP AIDS Project modifies its men of color programming and launches Our Love, by and for gay and bisexual Black men. Our Love offers a workshop series that addresses specific topics of interest to Black men, a weekend retreat entitled “Soul In the Woods,” as well as other activities and social opportunities.
San Francisco Department of Public Health rates STOP AIDS Project in the 99th percentile in the annual city-wide HIV prevention monitoring report.
New studies reveal that Latino gay and bi men tend to rely strongly on their families for emotional and social support. STOP AIDS Project partners with other organizations to produce a social marketing campaign aimed at gay Latino men and their families. The scenarios presented by this campaign confront the community with its own homophobia, while presenting the options of acceptance and understanding.
STOP AIDS Project receives supplemental funding from the CDC for HIV prevention among Latino youth and hires a Latino Youth Program Coordinator.
STOP AIDS launches the “Once Upon A Time” campaign aimed at young gay and bi men, under 25. Young gay men often use sex to escape confusing emotional realities. Coupled with alcohol and drugs, this can lead to risky behaviors. Reflecting the theme of escapism, this campaign borrows from the world of fantasy and fairy tales and reflects the tales we tell ourselves about our sexual behaviors to encourage self-awareness around sexual decision-making.
STOP AIDS produces “Working Boys” a photo project documenting the lives of hustlers on Polk Street.
San Francisco Department of Public Health rates STOP AIDS Project in the 97th percentile in the annual city-wide HIV prevention monitoring report.
Viagra is introduced in the United States and is quickly picked up by gay and bi men. Just three months later STOP AIDS holds a community forum on Viagra, its effect on HIV prevention, and its safety when mixed with recreational drugs and HIV meds.
Q Action produces the first FLIQ, a short documentary style film asking young gay and bi men question about sex, HIV, relationships, family and several other topics. The monthly film screenings were attended by dozens of young men and were followed by group discussions.
STOP AIDS hosts its first LeatherMen meeting which eventually becomes LeatherFUCK and LEAG (Leather Events Action Group), which continue to this day.
STOP AIDS Project’s SOMA neighborhood organizers and leather community members team up to produce the “SM Sex… Safely” guide.
Condoms Now! is launched one week before Folsom Street Fair with 70 participating businesses throughout San Francisco. The program vastly expands the condom distribution programs of the City. Within the first six weeks STOP AIDS distributed 164,000 condoms. Since that time STOP AIDS has distributed almost 10 million condoms. Every year more than 2 million condoms are distributed, making STOP AIDS the largest distributor of free condoms in the country.