Maui AIDS Foundation
Maui AIDS Foundation (MAF) is a nonprofit social service and health care organization founded in 1986 as an all-volunteer community response to the HIV/AIDS crisis on Maui. MAF has grown and evolved, responding to changes in client demographics, modifications in funding and changes in the delivery of our care services model. MAF faces unique challenges being geographically isolated on an island chain and the culture is unique where it doesn’t share the historical homogeneity of that of the mainland. We also face cultural challenges that are unique to the island's populations of Hawaiian and Asia Pacific Islander. MAF is a comprehensive HIV/AIDS Service Organization (ASO) that embraces those challenges and whose mission it is to promote the sexual health and well-being of the members of our community. The vision of MAF is to see zero sexually transmitted diseases in our community. The face of HIV/AIDS has changed over the years; where MAF used to care for the dying we now care for those living with HIV and other STIs. We have committed ourselves to preventing any new infections through, linkage to care, behavioral modifications, partner services, education and testing. We have found that stopping these infections not only requires stopping HIV but stopping Hep C and other Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), which can make the transmission of HIV easier. In order to do that, we have a comprehensive rapid Syphilis, HIV and, Hep-C testing program alongside STI counseling.
We are the only HIV/AIDS service organization servicing Maui County (the islands of Maui, Lanai, and Molokai’i) and our outreach is targeted to the LGBTQ, low income, Hawaiian and Asian Pacific Islander communities. Therefore, we have become a lead agency that responds to their community concerns and provides a resource for the LGBTQ community. A biennial survey released last summer found Hawaii had the second-highest national percentage of youth, 15 percent, who reported making a suicide plan. In order to fight this growing trend we have a very active Mpowerment program for the LGBTQ youth that has been very effective with their support and education. We also have a very successful SISTAH program (Sisters Informing Sister on Topics About AIDS) that is run in coordination with the County prison system and Malama Family Recovery Center.
We conduct education classes for the County Police and Fire Departments and at our local College and High Schools. We case manage approximately 150 low income clients providing them with Ryan White Federal services, insurance counseling, food bank and bus and transportation services. We administer the HOPWA program (Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS) on all of the islands in Hawaii except for Oahu and we assist approximately 454 individuals and families. Our Aloha Emergency Fund pays for emergencies when there are no other funds available. We do all this with 15 dedicated full and part time employees and volunteers.