What is an AIDS Foundation?

Matt Brady

An AIDS foundation can be any organization set up to provide AIDS treatment, counseling and education. AIDS foundations often partner with other organizations to set up fundraising events that raise money for AIDS research and treatment. Most cities or regions have some sort of AIDS foundation established for the local community. Aside from helping to treat existing HIV/AIDS cases, AIDS foundations also work on HIV prevention, by educating the public on safe sex practices and by providing HIV testing services. An AIDS foundation is generally a non-profit organization funded by grants, private donors, and strategic partnerships, and typically it is run with the help of volunteer services.

An AIDS foundation is set up to provide education and AIDS awareness.
An AIDS foundation is set up to provide education and AIDS awareness.

AIDS foundations can cover a wide array of HIV/AIDS prevention services. Many foundations have HIV testing capabilities, which they offer for free or at low cost to high-risk individuals and their partners. Many foundations also hand out free contraceptives to promote safe sex practices that diminish the risk of spreading sexually transmitted diseases. Comprehensive information on AIDS is also readily available at foundations, in print and online literature, as well as through counseling services.

Using safe sex practices can help reduce an individual's chances of contracting AIDS.
Using safe sex practices can help reduce an individual's chances of contracting AIDS.

Aside from prevention services, an AIDS foundation will also offer an array of HIV/AIDS treatment services. Foundations may refer infected individuals to the proper medical facilities for treatment. Many foundations offer financial services for low-income individuals in need of treatment. Some also offer assistance with housing, food, medical transportation, and any other related need for those struggling with HIV/AIDS.

While many AIDS foundations are regional centers that service local communities, others are national or global organizations that offer slightly different sets of solutions to AIDS problems. For example, various celebrities and wealthy business people have established AIDS foundations that offer grants to various projects around the world. Such foundations are able to provide grants because they're backed by famous individuals who fund their organizations with proceeds from product sales and entertainment events.

AIDS foundations participate in and help organize multiple fundraising events each year. Fundraisers range from such entertaining events as dinner parties to more participatory events, such as walkathons. Oftentimes, proceeds from such events are split up among a number of organizations involved in preventing and treating AIDS, such as medical facilities, counseling centers, and scientific research projects.

An AIDS foundation will often participate in grassroots efforts that lobby for government legislation to make AIDS prevention and treatment more effective. This typically involves recruiting interested citizens in helping to write letters to state legislators, attend political rallies, and stir up AIDS awareness through media outlets. Foundations will also invite people to participate in other awareness events such as World AIDS Day.

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