40 Years of APLA

This is our reGeneration.

For 40 years,

APLA Health has worked to bring attention to crises, eliminate stigmas and make healthcare equity a priority in LA County. We share the timeline of the AIDS epidemic, and the trauma of the AIDS generation – and while our story is one of great challenges, it’s also one of reinvention.
APLA Health is truly an organization that is greater than the sum of our parts. Along our journey we have done the work to meet the needs of our communities in the moment, and anticipate needs in the future. And we’ve done it with patients, partners and allies that have helped us fight for health equity in every corner of our county, giving hope to new generations.

Just like the communities we serve, we stand stronger today because of the challenges we have overcome, and the hurdles we still face. We are proud of the many forms we’ve taken, and bold enough to be honest about where we stand.
Because every turn our journey takes gives us an opportunity to regenerate into something more beautiful.

From a light at the very beginning.

To a beacon for the future.

This is our regeneration.

A story of evolution.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of our incorporation and the launch of our fight against HIV/AIDS and to support those communities infected and affected by the epidemic.

From the very beginning, one of AIDS Project Los Angeles’s key goals was to educate our community with factual, up-to-date information about the disease. We launched one of the nation’s first Hotlines, initially housed in an old closet with all that we knew about AIDS – a single page of facts and resources on a clipboard.

One of our most critical early programs was the APLA Buddy program. Dozens, hundreds and then thousands of trained APLA volunteers helped clients with AIDS with daily tasks, social activities or even just provided basic human contact. Our volunteers took meals into the hospital rooms of AIDS patients-since the hospital staff was too frightened and left trays outside the door.

The program was followed by the APLA Dental Clinic in 1985, founded to treat people living with AIDS who were denied services by other dentists, and our Necessities of Life Program in 1986, which began as a $35 food voucher program and has become the Vance North Necessities of Life Program, the nation’s largest network of food pantries for people with HIV/AIDS.
AIDS Project Los Angeles’ goal was to educate our community with up-to-date information about HIV.

By the end of April 1983, we had supported 5 clients living with AIDS and answered thousands of phone calls. By April 1984, we had almost 180 clients.

Where we are today.

Today, APLA Health serves more than 15,000 patients and clients annually, focusing on serving the low-income LGBTQ+ community and people living with HIV.

We continue to be the leading provider of HIV prevention and health education services in Los Angeles County targeting populations at highest risk of HIV, including gay men of color, young gay men and members of the transgender community.

7 APLA Health Centers

Find a location near you.

Out Here Sexual Health Services

In 2022, APLA Health introduced Out Here, a new sexual health brand that reimagines how we deliver testing, treatment, and prevention services.

We (the patients, clients, staff and volunteers) at APLA Health owe a great debt of gratitude to each of you who support us. While we are grateful for the progress we’ve made to combat the disease, we will never forget those we lost along the way. We remain as firmly committed to ending this epidemic as we were when we were founded in 1983.
Join us in celebrating our 40 year history of impact and looking forward to an exciting future of service.
– Craig E. Thompson, C.E.O.
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