Michael Weinstein is the president of AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest nonprofit global HIV/AIDS organization. Before becoming involved in HIV/AIDS related issues in the 1980s, he was a businessman and graphic designer. Since 1986, Weinstein has been a leader in the fight against HIV and AIDS. As president and cofounder of AHF, he oversees a $300-million organization whose mission is to provide “cutting-edge medicine and advocacy regardless of one’s ability to pay.”
AHF currently provides medical care and services to more than 123,000 individuals in 26 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/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 outpatient healthcare centers in California, Florida and Washington, D.C. AHF also operates pharmacies, 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 nonprofit, 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. AHF Global operates free AIDS treatment clinics and medical provider training programs worldwide.
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. Several Out of the Closet locations offer free HIV testing as part of the foundation’s groundbreaking alternative HIV testing and prevention program, which conducts thousands of tests each year.
Before founding AHF, 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-1980s. In 2001, Weinstein was awarded an honorary doctorate degree from Whittier College for his career achievements.