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Harm Reduction

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How can you help?

Join our harm reduction initiatives in partnership with the Maui Police Department through their Mobile Medical Educational Unit (MMEU) serving communities in need every Monday across the island. MAF is onsite providing free and confidential testing, linkage to care, harm reduction and prevention education. Cassie Coffin, our Harm Reduction Outreach Coordinator, has put together hygiene kits to help keep our at-risk communities safe from the Hep-C epidemic in Maui County. Mahalo for your hard work out there, Cassie and our Prevention team! We appreciate and support you in this vital, compassionate initiative! 

WHAT IS HARM REDUCTION?


Harm reduction is an approach that emphasizes engaging directly with people who use drugs to prevent overdose and infectious disease transmission, improve the physical, mental, and social well-being of those served, and offer low-threshold options for accessing substance use disorder treatment and other health care.
Beginning in March 2021, Maui A.I.D.S. Foundation (MAF) has participated in the State of Hawaii’s Overdose Data to Action (“OD2A”) project that focuses on the complex and changing nature of the drug overdose epidemic and highlights the need for an interdisciplinary, comprehensive, and cohesive public health approach to combat the epidemic. MAF has expanded to provide Harm Reduction Services through syringe exchange, naloxone training and distribution, and other overdose prevention services
within the County of Maui.
Maui County is geographically underserved, lacking in accessible and affordable health care, proper infrastructure to support preventative efforts, and social services to facilitate care. The population of Maui County consists of many communities that are
disproportionally affected by opioid overdose. With a collaborative effort with the Maui Police Department and the support of the County of Maui, Maui A.I.D.S. Foundation continues to address the needs of our community by providing harm reduction and drug prevention services to decrease the number of drug overdoses in the underserved populations of Maui County

MAF's  HARM REDUCTION PROGRAM

The Maui AIDS Foundation Harm Reduction, Prevention and Education Department is considered the “frontline” as our staff provides Sexual Health, Overdose Prevention, and Community Programs utilizing a Harm Reduction approach to our Maui County community. Through our testing clinic, we engage with he IDU (intravenous drug use) population and provide education for individuals who test positive for HCV (Hepatitis C Virus). MAF has made a significant connection through our Outreach program with the Maui Police Department (MPD) to increase the number of services for our Houseless, IDU, and Mental Health affected populations. Our connection with MPD has been one of our most tremendous successes here in the County of Maui. Through our Overdose program, MAF has provided monthly Naloxone training as well as distribution to the MPD, community health providers, IDU individuals, and people in our general population in Maui Count

GOALS OF THE PROGRAM 

  • To support and partner on the CORE initiatives of the Maui Police Department among Maui County's houseless communities

  • To provide weekly harm reduction outreach and education to people who engage in substance use To increase referrals, linkage, and/or retention in treatment and testing programs

  • To reach a part of our Maui County community that usually does not have access to MAF programs due to an absence of Harm Reduction Services

  • To evaluate and report successes and challenges to effect policy-level changes.

HARM REDUCTION SERVICES PROVIDED:

 

  • In-person, practical harm reduction education and outreach to substance users, houseless individuals , and other at-risk individuals in hard-to-reach, remote, and isolated communities in Maui County

  • Partnered with the Maui Police Department through the Maui Medical Educational Unit (MMEU) bus every week to provide services to our houseless communities and extend our harm reduction reach

  • Syringe (needle) exchange for IDU

  • Provide food pantry items

  • Narcan training and Narcan distribution to individuals who engage in opioid use and provide overdose prevention through harm reduction techniques

  • Free and confidential onsite HCV/HIV/STI testing
    Linkage-to-care for individuals who test positive for
    HIV/HCV/STIs as well as clients who fall out of care

  • Educate at-risk individuals about methamphetamine and
    Educate at-risk individuals about practical harm reduction strategies for safer substance use

  • Provide harm reduction supplies such as condoms, Safe-Sex Kits, and Hygiene Kits: including toothpaste, toothbrush, mouthwash, soap, body wash, distilled water, shampoo, deodorant, tampons, sanitary napkins, and backpacks 

  • Deliver phone cards to individuals that wish to contact the MAF office for further services

  • Gain the trust of isolated at-risk individuals and communities
    Work with various ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds regarding issues of sexuality, HIV/AIDS, and STI’s in a culturally sensitive, non-judgmental, and appropriate manner

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