Community Event: Back-to-HIV Rally and Die-In

March 21, 2022
11:00am - 1:00pm
Steps of San Francisco City Hall

Back-to-HIV Rally and Die-In
On the Steps of San Francisco City Hall

Coalition of AIDS Activists Call on City Leaders
To Make HIV a Priority Again, Address Impact of COVID on People With HIV

While San Francisco has been a leader in the fight against COVID-19, it has come at a price for other health programs. In a city once world-renowned for its innovative and effective prevention and treatment for people living with HIV, a number of alarming setbacks in these areas have resulted during the past two years as funding and resources have been diverted for the COVID pandemic, including:

  • HIV testing is down by 44% from 2019
  • Rates of viral suppression have dropped from 75% to 70%
  • Among homeless persons living with HIV, only 20% have reached viral suppression, a decrease from 50% in 2019
  • PrEP use has decreased, leading to potential new HIV transmissions
  • During times of lockdowns, clinic visits decreased, interrupting testing and early treatment
  • San Francisco’s long-term survivors of HIV/AIDS still lack adequate access to deeply affordable housing, harm reduction, mental health care, social housing, and economic assistance

(Source: 2020 HIV Epidemiological Reports from City & County of SF Dept of Public Health)

A coalition of HIV organizations and activists is staging a rally and die-in on the steps of City Hall on March 21 to bring attention to this situation, and demand that San Francisco treat the HIV community as a population with the greatest social need, as defined by Senate Bill 258 (the HIV & Aging Act). It is clear that sheltering in place for COVID has severely impacted HIV services, but it is necessary to determine exactly how severely, and where these services need to be bolstered. To that end, the rally’s organizers and supporters demand that hearings be convened by San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors and the Human Rights Commission to address these issues, as each body uses a different set of tools to measure this impact, and determine what steps to take to mitigate the effects.

Dr. Monica Gandhi, who is not only a widely respected infectious disease expert and leading voice on COVID-19, but also the medical director of Ward 86, the HIV Clinic at San Francisco General Hospital, will be the keynote speaker at the rally. In a recent interview with long-term survivor activist Hank Trout on the San Francisco AIDS Foundation web site, she said, “I think the HIV treating community, i.e., healthcare workers, need to team up with activists, community, and patients like we did in the 80’s to again raise awareness that HIV is not over and that more resources and support should go towards HIV/AIDS. Our strength in HIV activism has always been researchers, clinicians, patients, advocates and activists working together. We need to do this again to ‘take back’ HIV as a major priority in our city.” (


WHERE: Steps of San Francisco City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place



Dr. Monica Gandhi, Medical Director of SF General Hospital HIV Clinic, Ward 86

Harry Breaux, Long-term Survivor, Founding Member, The San Francisco Principles

Vince Crisostomo, Long-term Survivor, Director of Aging Services, SFAF

Nikos Pecoraro, Overdose Survivor/HIV Advocacy Network

Hulda Brown, Long-term Survivor, Shanti’s Honoring Our Experience

Michael Rouppet, Long-term Survivor, Housing Advocate



HIV Caucus, Harvey Milk LGBTQ+ Democratic Club

Alice B. Toklas Democratic Club

The San Francisco Principles 2020

AIDS Legal Referral Panel (ALRP)

HealthRight 360

HIV Advocacy Network

HIV/AIDS Provider Network

Shanti Project, Honoring Our Experience

Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, Ward 86


WHAT TO EXPECT: Rally featuring speakers, call to action, die-in

ROAD CLOSURES: None expected.




HASHTAGS: #SilenceStill=Death; #BackToHIV

Press release from event sponsors: Harvey Milk LGBTQ Democratic Club and Health RIGHT 360

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