Population Health & Prevention

What We Do

AIDS OfficeFor more than twenty years, community members and local organizations

have partnered with the San Francisco Department of Public Health to

design and deliver effective HIV prevention services. These collaborations

have been so successful that across the nation, this type of public-private

partnership for prevention is called the San Francisco Model.


Effective HIV prevention is sex-positive and

built on the knowledge of those most affected by HIV. Because everyone

is different, we work to reduce harm in a manner and pace appropriate

to individuals and their communities. We believe that to achieve optimal

Health services, we must include all the diversity that makes San Francisco

such a vibrant city.


We are committed to engaging you as a partner in leadership

as we collectively assume the responsibility for ending the HIV epidemic.

We encourage you to use our website to exchange information, best practices,

community needs, and emerging concerns. We are all in this together,

and your active participation will insure the continuation of our San

Francisco Model.

Our Mission

Our Mission is to reduce HIV infection through promoting health and

enabling individuals and communities to increase control over conditions

affecting their health.

Goal and Objectives

Our overall goal is to reduce new HIV infections by  50% by 2017.  Our specific objectives are to:

  • Reduce new

    HIV infections among men who have sex with men (MSM) by 50%;

  • Reduce new HIV infections among transpersons by 50%;
  • Eliminate new infections among IDUs; and
  • Eliminate perinatal infections


In reaching the above objectives, we believe we will also achieve the goal of keeping HIV infection rates among non-injecting biological women and men who have sex exclusively with women extremely low, because most transmission within these groups is due to transmission from MSM or IDUs.

Our Priority Areas

After an extensive review of the prevention literature and local data, and input from a variety of community sources, the HPPC has agreed that San Francisco’s prevention efforts should emphasize the following five areas:

HIV Status Awareness

HIV status awareness is the umbrella term for any strategy or service that helps people learn their HIV status.

Prevention with Positives

Prevention with Positives (PWP) is defined as any strategy or intervention that addresses the specific prevention needs of persons living with HIV.

Drivers of HIV

A driver is an underlying condition that is directly linked to a large number of new HIV infections in San Francisco., even after taking into account other factors. By definition, drivers affect the populations at highest risk for HIV. In an extensive review of the literature, the HPPC has identified the following drivers: methamphetamine use, cocaine/crack use, popper use, heavy alcohol use, gonorrhea infection, and having multiple sex partners.

Syringe Access and Disposal Programs

Syringe access and disposal programs ensure access to sterile syringes and injection equipment in order to eliminate the transmission of blood-borne viruses among people who inject drugs and their sexual partners.

Structural Change

Structural Changes are new or modified programs, practices, or policies that are logically linkable to preventing HIV transmission and acquisition and can be sustained over time when key factors are no longer involved.


HIV Prevention Services welcomes interns to help us achieve

our goal of ending the HIV epidemic in San Francisco. If you are interested

in becoming a San Francisco Department of Public Health—HIV Prevention

Section intern, please contact Oscar Macias at

(415) 554-3955 or at [email protected]. Please note that our interships are unpaid.