Shiela Alexander-Reid, Director Mayor's Office of LGBTQ Affaire, Mike McVicker-Weaver, Regional Director AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Dr. Roxanne Cox-Lyamu, Medical Director at K Street AHF Healthcare Center, Michael Kharfen, Senior Deputy Director HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STD and TB Administration and DeMarc Hickson, Executive Director Us Helping Us People into Living cutting the ribbon. (Robert Roberts/The Washington Informer)
Shiela Alexander-Reid, Director Mayor's Office of LGBTQ Affaire, Mike McVicker-Weaver, Regional Director AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Dr. Roxanne Cox-Lyamu, Medical Director at K Street AHF Healthcare Center, Michael Kharfen, Senior Deputy Director HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STD and TB Administration and DeMarc Hickson, Executive Director Us Helping Us People into Living cutting the ribbon. (Robert Roberts/The Washington Informer)

The D.C.-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation [AHF], the world’s largest non-profit, HIV/AIDS service organization, recently achieved a milestone in its continuing fight against HIV/AIDS. On Thursday, April 18, AHF, community leaders, HIV advocates and dignitaries from across the District, participated in a celebration at the agency’s facility located at 2141 K Street, NW, to pay tribute to the significant impact they’ve had in the last 10 years in the local fight against AIDS. The ceremony also served as the official re-opening of its newly-expanded healthcare center housed at the same location. In 2009, AHF initially opened the AHF Blair Underwood Healthcare Center at K Street to address the growing rate of new HIV diagnosis throughout the District. The facility’s name would be chosen in honor of the actor Blair Underwood upon its opening due to his commitment to and advocacy for HIV prevention and medical care and services both here in the U.S. and in Africa. Over the agency’s 10-year history, it has continued to address the growing needs of the local community, connecting with those populations most impacted by the current HIV/AIDS epidemic. AHF has since expanded its presence to include a satellite office with a wellness center in D.C.’s northeast corridor on Benning Road and in the Temple Hills area. Under the leadership of renowned internist and infectious disease specialist, Dr. Roxanne Cox-Iyamu (AHF Medical Director), the agency remains focused on expanding services and outreach, currently providing direct HIV care to over 1,000 individuals in the D.C. community living with HIV, many of whom remain uninsured and who rely on AHF’s commitment to providing care to all regardless of their ability to pay. In addition to the three healthcare centers, AHF also has a public affairs office near the U.S. Capitol that coordinates the agency’s leading advocacy initiatives on behalf of the over one million individuals living with HIV across the U.S.  Over the three decades of AHF’s legacy, through its advocacy initiatives, the agency has been a leading voice around many critical issues, including increased access to HIV and STD prevention and testing; medical care and treatment for those living with HIV; the fight against increases in prescription drug pricing, gentrification of communities and preservation and development of affordable housing.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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