Jeff Sheehy

Patient Advocate, HIV/AIDS

Appointed by the California Senate President Pro Tempore

Jeff Sheehy has served on the governing board of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine since its inception and is director for communications at the UCSF AIDS Research Institute.

Sheehy is a founding member of the Steering Committee of San Francisco’s Getting to Zero Consortium, which aims to make the City the first municipality to achieve the UNAIDS goals of zero new infections, zero HIV deaths and zero HIV stigma.  He also serves on the Industry Collaboration Group of the International AIDS Society’s Towards an HIV Cure project.

A longtime HIV/AIDS and LGBT civil rights activist and a person living with HIV, he was HIV/AIDS advisor to San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom.  

While a member of ACT-UP, he fought for organ transplants for people with HIV and worked on legislation to allow HIV positive men to use advanced assisted reproduction techniques that facilitate safe conception with their HIV negative partners.

In 1996, he and two colleagues conceived and passed San Francisco’s historic Equal Benefits Ordinance, which requires that companies contracting with the City provide same-sex domestic partners of employees the same benefits that spouses of employees receive.

To support the legislation, he conducted the successful national boycott of United Airlines that resulted in U.S. airlines offering domestic partner benefits to their employees worldwide in 1999. Almost 4,000 companies eventually complied with the law, including many giant multinational corporations, facilitating broad corporate support for same-sex marriage.

Sheehy has received the Human Rights Campaign’s Leadership Award, the Caped Crusader Award from Equality California, the Tomas Fabregas AIDS Hero Award, the UCSF Chancellor’s Award for Public Service, and has been named to OUT magazine’s “Out 100” and POZ magazine's “POZ 100.”