About AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts
Founded in 1983, AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts is a not-for-profit, community-based health organization whose mission is to stop the HIV/AIDS epidemic by preventing new infections and optimizing the health of those already infected.
Through a cooperative and mutually supportive effort between over 70 staff and hundreds of volunteers, AIDS Action seeks to assist and constructively work with people of all cultures by providing services, education, advocacy and prevention.
AIDS Action accomplishes that mission by providing support services for people living with AIDS and HIV; educating the public and health professionals about how to prevent HIV transmission; and advocating for fair and effective AIDS policy at the city, state and federal levels.
AIDS Action provides free, confidential services to 2,500 men, women and children living with HIV/AIDS as well as prevention services to thousands of men, women and youth who are not living with HIV or do not know their status.
In preparation for the launch of the hotline and website, AAC conducted key informant interviews with those working in the fields of family planning, HIV/STI prevention, domestic violence, sexual assault and youth services, in addition to youth focus groups in order to better comprehend what teenagers understand about emergency contraception and to identify some of the barriers that exist that might make it difficult for youth to access emergency contraception.
Through these focus groups and meetings, we discovered that when discussing emergency contraception, many questions arise surrounding other sexual health issues, and many Massachusetts youth do not have a reliable and trusted source to answer such questions. In order to provide more comprehensive and inclusive information, this website addresses a broad range of sexual health issues related to emergency contraception. The purpose of the hotline and website is to provide callers with information, support, and make appropriate statewide referrals.
This is AAC’s first prevention initiative that does not address HIV directly. While this is a small departure for us, we could not be more thrilled to be offering this service to Massachusetts residents. We feel strongly that the issues that are addressed through the Maria Talks website and Sexual Health Helpline are not only paramount in safeguarding the general, sexual health of those who utilize the service, but can and will have an impact on their risk for HIV.