At a Glance

Mission, Values, and History


As the world’s first HIV/AIDS service organization, GMHC is working to end the AIDS epidemic and uplift the lives of all affected.


  • Community
  • Empowerment
  • Inclusiveness
  • Respect
  • Responsibility

Our History
In 1981, eighty men gathered in writer Larry Kramer’s apartment to address the “gay cancer” and to raise money for research. This informal meeting provided the foundation of what would soon become Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC). Our six founders were Nathan Fain, Larry Kramer, Larry Mass, Paul Popham, Paul Rapoport, Edmund White. For more about our history, view our timeline.

Who We Serve

GMHC serves New Yorkers throughout the five boroughs: 39% live in Manhattan; 25% in Brooklyn; 22% in the Bronx; 14% in Queens, and 1% in Staten Island. The communities we serve are disproportionately affected by both the HIV and COVID-19 pandemics: Over 70% live below the Federal Poverty Line; 36% are Black; and 32% are Latino. Nearly half of clients are over the age of fifty, and 53% are LGBTQ+.

Figures based on clients who provided health status indicators in 2021.

Our Approach

We address the social determinants of health that continue to fuel HIV infection rates and prevent people from accessing care and treatment. They include food and housing insecurity, unemployment, and lack of access to health services, among others.  We also advocate for fair and effective HIV/AIDS policies at the local, state, and federal levels. All of our programs are driven by our clients themselves who are represented through our Consumer Advisory Board.

Our Services

We provide HIV and STI testing, food and nutrition programs, housing support, workforce development, legal assistance, advocacy for benefits and health insurance, mental health and emotional support, substance use counseling, and more.


051919 GMHC 2019 AIDS Walk, held in NYC's Central Park. Photographs by Matthew McDermott-Contact# 917.653.6707.

Why GMHC is Relevant Today

New HIV infections continue to rise, particularly among people of color, women, transgender individuals, and men who have sex with men. People living with HIV/AIDS also continue to experience stigma and discrimination. At GMHC, we believe we can end AIDS at epidemic levels by addressing the underlying causes of new HIV infections, shifting cultural beliefs, and promoting healthy behaviors.