Mission and Purpose
The mission of Maui AIDS Foundation is to promote the sexual health and well-being of the members of our community.
With over 400 diagnosed HIV positive people living on Maui, Maui AIDS Foundation (MAF) is the only comprehensive HIV/AIDS organization in Maui County providing assistance with services including linkage to medical care, access to HIV medications, financial housing assistance, food, and emotional and educational support to those in need. MAF also provides educational programs to inform the community about HIV/AIDS, its transmission, prevention and the impact on the residents of Maui County, as well as free HIV and Hep-C testing and Safe Sex Kits (SSK’s).
Maui AIDS Foundation was founded in 1987 as a community-based response to the devastating impact of HIV/AIDS on Maui and incorporated as a 501 (c) 3 that same year.
Like many other AIDS Service Organizations (ASOs), Maui AIDS Foundation emerged first as a grassroots, volunteer-based agency, where helping friends affected by AIDS was the principle work. Gradually, as funding, medications and treatment options became available, especially through the State of Hawaii and the federal Ryan White Care Act, staff was hired and programs were made formal.
In the late 1990s Maui AIDS Foundation ventured into housing for persons living with HIV, first by managing a home for people living with AIDS on the Kula Hospital grounds. This home was for clients who were homeless and needed intensive support from staff. Maui AIDS Foundation continues to link clients to housing through our Case Management Department.
Several grants specifically for prevention outreach came from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and from the State of Hawaii. These grants provided staff funding for outreach to at-risk populations on Maui, Molokai and Lanai. They also allowed MAF to form various support groups for HIV positive clients, for women at risk for HIV infection and for young gay and bisexual men of color. Safer sex kits (SSKs) became a trademark of Maui AIDS Foundation, consisting of condoms, lubrication and an HIV prevention message and/or test certificate.