Ernest Hopkins

San Francisco AIDS Foundation
Director of Federal Affairs
Ernest Hopkins is the Director of Legislative Affairs at the San Francisco AIDS Foundation (SFAF) where he has led its federal funding, policy, and legislative activities since 1997, first as the Director of Federal Affairs and now as Legislative Director with expanded oversight over HIV related funding, policy and legislative efforts at the federal, state and local levels. Prior to joining SFAF, Ernest served as the Director of Health and Treatment at the National Association of People with AIDS (NAPWA) from 1995-97 where he worked with pharmaceutical companies on ethical, clinical trial design and educated communities nationally in the early days of combination antiretroviral therapy. In 1994, Ernest was appointed by DC Mayor Sharon Pratt-Kelly, Chair of the Metropolitan Washington, DC Regional HIV Health Services Planning Council where he served until 1996. Also in 1994, Ernest began his relationship with the Communities Advocating Emergency AIDS Relief (CAEAR) Coalition, the oldest community-based coalition devoted to advocating for adequate funding and sound federal policy for the Ryan White Care Act. In 1997, as a member of the African American Policy Workgroup, Ernest worked closely with the House Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations subcommittee members and staff and the Congressional Black Caucus, Health Brain Trust to establish the Minority HIV/AIDS Initiative. In 1998 Ernest was awarded the Congressional Black Caucus’s Health Brain Trust Community Service Award for his efforts. Ernest is a founder and current Board Chair of the National Black Gay Men’s Advocacy Coalition, established in 2006 to advocate at the federal level for the health and wellness of Black gay men. Ernest is a member of the CDC/HRSA Advisory Committee on HIV/Viral Hepatitis/STDs Prevention and Treatment(CHAC). He also serves on the Board of the National AIDS Housing Coalition as its Advocacy Chair and Ernest represents SFAF on the Black Gay Research Group and the Federal AIDS Policy Partnership.