director’s message

Bill Hirsh Receives Catalyst for Change Award

Executive Director Bill Hirsh was recently presented with a Catalyst for Change Award from the San Francisco AIDS Foundation.

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A Message from Bill Hirsh

I write to inform you of my decision to step down from my role as Executive Director of the AIDS Legal Referral Panel (ALRP) at the end of the calendar year. I have been incredibly privileged to have served the community in this role for almost 24 years and I could not be prouder of the work our organization has done to improve the health of people living with HIV/AIDS by addressing their legal issues.


My work with ALRP began many years ago as a volunteer soon after I graduated from law school. Back then much of ALRP’s work involved running out to hospitals to draft emergency wills for folks who were dying much too young.

The terrible discrimination against people with HIV/AIDS defined that time almost as much as the compassion of community members who stepped up to support them. As treatments for HIV improved, the legal needs of our clients changed, and ALRP expanded its services to support our clients as they were living with HIV, rather than dying of AIDS.


Every day I see the difference that our dedicated Staff Attorneys and generous volunteer Panel Attorneys make in the lives of our clients – keeping folks housed, insured, healthy and safe. The organization is in a solid financial position with talented staff and volunteers, and an engaged Board of Directors. I look forward to working with our Board to ensure as smooth a transition as possible, and I step aside confident that the organization will thrive under new leadership and renewed energy.


I do not know what professional opportunities await an older gent with my legendary technological challenges, but I know that my commitment to social justice will never waiver. And I know that I can always be proud of the work I have been able to do as part of the ALRP family.

From the Heart,

Bill Hirsh

Bill Hirsh receives the Ruth Brinker Visionary Award


Project Open Hand, ALRP’s esteemed sister agency, bestowed their Ruth Brinker Visionary Award to our own Bill Hirsh at the 30th annual Hand To Hand celebration on December 9, 2022.


Ruth Brinker was a remarkable person who founded Project Open Hand to serve meals for people living with HIV. Project Open Hand now serves 2,500 daily meals with love and their service model has been replicated multiple times with over 150 similar groups all over the world.

Visionary Leaders Ruth Brinker and Bill Hirsh


Bill Hirsh notes, “I am deeply honored and humbled to receive Ruth’s namesake award.


Just as ALRP began with a group of volunteer attorneys responding to the AIDS crisis, Ruth Brinker mobilized an army of volunteers to provide healthy meals to sustain people who were often too weak to cook for themselves or even leave their home to get food.


I am so proud to receive this award and lead an organization that reflects the values of San Francisco and Ruth Brinker.”

Guest Opinion: Reflections on the AIDS quilt

Bill Hirsh Guest Opinion: Reflections on the AIDS quilt

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