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Lifestyle // Proof Positive
MidWeek Staff

Leading The Fight Against HIV/AIDS

By Melanie Moore, Communications Consultant, Life Foundation

Started in 1983, Life Foundation was Hawaii’s first response to the AIDS epidemic in Hawaii, and remains the leader in the fight against HIV/AIDS in our Islands. Life Foundation is a nonprofit organization that provides services to those living with HIV/AIDS on Oahu, and also provides HIV prevention education and free, anonymous HIV testing with results in 15 minutes.

In 2011, we provided the following services: 805 HIV positive clients were able to access services through our Care Department; 1,988 meals were served to clients through our Meals Program; 253 households were assisted from our emergency pantry; 2,231 rapid HIV tests were administered;

24,133 contacts were made to people at risk of contracting HIV, and 100,000 safer-sex kits and condoms were distributed.

When someone is diagnosed with HIV on Oahu, they are referred to Life Foundation for services.

“My case manager has been and still is someone whom I credit for bringing me back from what I thought was a hopeless situation being HIV positive,” says one client.”I can’t thank her enough for caring!”

Free and anonymous HIV testing is also a cornerstone of our organization.

“Life Foundation makes it easy to get tested,” reported someone who recently came in for testing, “(with convenient) hours of operation, friendliness on the phone (and) clear information given in a nonjudgmental manner. If all testing centers were like yours, then I believe there would be a lot more people getting tested and aware of their status. Keep up the good work!”

On April 15, Life Foundation will hold its 21st annual Honolulu AIDS Walk, an easy 5K walk around Kapiolani Park. It is the primary fundraiser for Life Foundation last year it attracted 5,000 people and raised more than $200,000 for Life Foundation. This year, we hope to raise more than $225,000. Registration is available online at honoluluaidswalk.org. Walkers ask friends and family to donate to support their efforts. Pledges can be turned in on the day of the event, which starts at 8 a.m., and the walk begins at 9 a.m. The event features great entertainment, food and a kid zone.

For more information on Life Foundation, visit lifefoundation.org or call 521-2437 (AIDS).

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