Albert Ruiz

"Albert has been living with HIV since 1988. He started as an HIV test counselor, started AHF's first STD clinic and now runs 15 clinics including Mexico City and one in Paraguay. He is tireless, self-sacrificing, and a joy to work with". -Nominator (wishes to remain anonymous)

Albert Ruiz

2014 Hispanic Heritage Month Local Heroes nominee

Albert Ruiz

Title Director of Wellness Center Programs
Organization/Business AIDS Healthcare Foundation

HIGHLIGHTS:
    • Part of the gay rights movement in the 1970's. Although diagnosed with HiV in 1988, went on to graduate from culinary school and operated a successful concession business in such theaters as the Pasadena Playhouse.
    • Started and operated the WeHo Lounge, an outreach project of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, for three years in West Hollywood. The full-service coffee bar offered coffee, muffins, free HIV testing, counseling, educational forums, palm reading, community publications and was a hang-out where those who were too young or did not choose to go to bars could find a community.
    • When AHF decided to close the lounge, Ruiz became an HIV tester for the Foundation.
    • In 2008 became the manager of AHF's Wellness Program, an STD testing and treatment program for high-risk individuals supported by the CDC and the County of Los Angeles.
    • Under Ruiz's leadership, the program has grown to over 15 locations in the United States as well as Mexico City and Paraguay.
    • Has grown Wellness into one of the largest community-based STD programs in the country. Has become a key leader in the Public Health Division of AHF which operates across twelve states.

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