Our Stories

Working for an AIDS-Free Los Angeles


Public Counsel's Homelessness Prevention Director Will Watts has joined the Los Angeles Commission on HIV

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has appointed Public Counsel Homelessness Prevention Director Will Watts to serve as the Second District Board Office’s representative on the county’s Commission on HIV. Los Angeles County ranks second in the prevalence of HIV/AIDS among major U.S. cities, and the Commission on HIV helps to ensure that people living with HIV/AIDS receive the help they need under the federal Ryan White Program and also that such funds are used to prevent the spread of this disease. 

"Year after year, African-American gay and bisexual men between the ages of 13-24 have the highest incidence of HIV infection. As an openly gay African-American HIV-negative man, I am particularly aware of this sad statistic and concerned about the impact HIV/AIDS has on our whole community," said Watts. “Changing this trend and moving towards an AIDS-free generation in Los Angeles will mean addressing issues of poverty, stigma, domestic violence and lack of access to quality, consistent and affordable health care that plague our communities of color. Serving on the Commission gives me the opportunity to help inform these policy and funding discussions by drawing on Public Counsel’s extensive work on behalf of disadvantaged children, immigrants and individuals in underserved communities.”

Los Angeles County residents with HIV/AIDS living at or below the poverty line can receive full medical coverage, including assistance with medications and other core medical and support services.

Early diagnosis and consistent care is essential to helping people with HIV/AIDS maintain their treatment and stay healthy.

Last year Los Angeles County Public Health Department received nearly $70 million from the federal government to assist with its HIV/AIDS program. The County has developed a comprehensive HIV plan to consolidate HIV prevention and care plans into an integrated planning framework.

Public Counsel assists individuals with HIV/AIDS in a range of areas, including benefits advocacy and housing advocacy.  Individuals can reach us every Friday from 1-4pm at the Rand Schrader Medical Center, 1300 North Mission Rd, Los Angeles or by contacting us at 213-385-2977 ext. 285.

“I am honored to serve the people of Los Angeles County and the Second District on this Commission,” Watts said.