Mission of AID FOR AIDS

AID FOR AIDS is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization committed to empowering communities at risk of HIV and the population at large, by developing their abilities and capacities in comprehensive prevention through access to treatment, advocacy, education and training to improve their quality of life and reduce stigma and discrimination.


Mission of AID FOR LIFE

AID FOR LIFE (AFL) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization committed to generating social impact and enhancing the lives of people at risk of social vulnerability in New York City and developing countries by implementing programs that increase their capacities, abilities and provide access to essential products that strengthen the wellbeing of their communities.

Vision of AID FOR AIDS

To be recognized internationally as a successful model of empowerment, built on efficient and sustainable programs with a high social impact, allowing the development of leaders who adopt comprehensive prevention as a lifestyle to promote a better quality of life in the general population.


Vision of AID FOR LIFE

Achieving healthy societies by improving their wellbeing, quality of life and the respect for fundamental human rights.


  • Union
  • Empathy
  • Integrity
  • Equity
  • Solidarity
  • Respect
  • Commitment
  • Credibility
  • Inclusion


Besides providing free medication to people with HIV in developing countries who do not have access to treatment, AID FOR AIDS provides prevention education, case management, and advocacy to those with HIV and those affected by the epidemic both internationally and in the United States.


AID FOR AIDS is comprised of passionate individuals with a deep commitment to our mission. Everyday, our staff works to better the lives of people with HIV and those affected by the epidemic.

Jesús Aguais

[email protected]

AFA Headquarters

Maritza Valenzuela
Vice president for Latin America and the Caribbean
[email protected]

Alicia Molina
Director of Operations
[email protected]

Lupe Aguais
Director of Education and Training
[email protected]

Leonardo Klie
Coordinator: HIV Medicine Recycling
[email protected]

Carine Keza
Specialist: HIV Medicine Recycling
[email protected]

Oscar Peña
Case Manager
[email protected]

AFA Colombia

Jorge Luis Díaz
Regional Director of Development for Latin America and the Caribbean
[email protected]

Eduardo Hernández
National Coordinator
[email protected]

Johnny Lenín Romero
Project Coordinator: Central Area
[email protected]

Isabella Latouche
Finance Manager
[email protected]

AFA Dominican Republic

Claudia Messina
President of Board

Maritza Valenzuela
Country Director
[email protected]

Virginia Moreno
Access to Treatment Coordinator
[email protected]

Gladis García
Coordinator of Program for Children & Adolescents with HIV
[email protected]

Mayerlin Montilla
[email protected]

Ibelise Medina
Field Coordinator
[email protected]

AFA Mexico

Joel Rentería
Legal Representative

Jorge Lopez
Development Officer
[email protected]

AFA Panama

Trina María Aguais
Country Director
[email protected]

Roalmar Alviárez
Access to Treatment Coordinator
[email protected]

Mario Alexander Cruz
Project Coordinator
[email protected]

Eduardo Cáceres
Coordinator of Program for Children & Adolescents with HIV
[email protected]

AFA Peru

Teresa Ayala
Country Director
[email protected]

AFA Venezuela

Lupe Aguais
Country Director
[email protected]

Alba Álvarez
Access to Treatment Program Coordinator
[email protected]

Ruth Cañizales
Education and Training Program Coordinator
[email protected]

Celso Sotelo
Healing Venezuela Program Coordinator
[email protected]

Yohely Reyes
Administrative Assistant
[email protected]

Ania Pulido
[email protected]


Valentina Pérez Padrón

José Barrios

Clemente Rodríguez


AID FOR AIDS is privileged to work with those on the Board of Directors who have tirelessly championed its causes while providing their unique knowledge and experience as leaders in their field. Meet our Board here:


Laura Messina


Joseph Hache


Gabriel Matus


Beatriz de la Mora

Leticia Ossa Daza


Founding Members

  • Adriana Cisneros de Griffin
  • Stephen Gendin (in memoriam)­
  • Violy McCausland-Seve

Founder & President

Jesús Aguais

Honorary Advisory Board

  • Tony Bechara
  • Victoria Benatar
  • Clarissa Bronfman
  • Carlos Campos
  • David Corkery
  • Jose Esparza, MD
  • Nora Ochoa
  • Carolina Herrera
  • Mitchell S. Kushner MD, MPH
  • Gabriel G. Matus
  • Carlos Mota
  • Gabriela Neri
  • Roxana Olivas
  • Nan Richardson
  • Angel Sanchez
  • Mark Schoofs
  • Ricardo Seco
  • Tom Viola
  • Jackie Weld-Drake
  • Doug White
  • Yliana Yepez
  • Tim Rosta


Founded in 1996 by Jesús Aguais, AID FOR AIDS was first conceived as a simple idea of recycling unused, unexpired HIV medication and redistributing them to those without access to the costly medicines around the world.

In 1996, the increased availability of antiretroviral therapy had a profound impact on AIDS mortality rates in the United States. Yet in developing countries, life-saving medication remained difficult and expensive to access, while the number of new HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths continued to climb.

Jesús Aguais, an AIDS activist from Venezuela, was working as a counselor at the HIV Clinic of St. Vincent’s Hospital and Medical Center in New York City during this time. He noticed patients would frequently changed their antiretroviral treatment regimens, discarding many of the unused pills. Instead of allowing this perfectly good medication to go to waste, Jesús began collecting it in a drawer in his office, urging friends and clients to pass on their leftover medication whenever possible.

One day, an elderly woman came into the clinic to meet Jesús, the person she had heard about back in her home country. She had sold all of her possessions to travel from Venezuela and plead with him to help her family. Although the clinic could do nothing for her HIV-positive relatives, the medications saved in his drawer were the same antiretrovirals the woman needed for her family—medication they did not have access to in Venezuela.

This one woman and her struggle to find treatment represented to Jesús the thousands of people impacted by HIV worldwide in developing countries. She, and the countless people like her, inspired him to mobilize a group of dedicated and determined individuals to begin AID FOR AIDS. The organization has grown to include not only the largest HIV Medicine Recycling Program in the world, but also education, prevention, training, and advocacy programs that target people with HIV in developing countries.