Our 40th Anniversary
In 1983, a group of dedicated advocates started the largest and oldest HIV service organization in the Pacific, the Life Foundation. Spearheaded by Dr. David McEwan, the Life Foundation was created to provide information, support, and sanctuary from the stigma, hate, and uncertainty surrounding the early days of HIV. With no official LGBTQ center, it has been a meeting place, a place of refuge, and a home for Hawaiʻi’s LGBTQ community.
Years later, Hawaiʻi Health & Harm Reduction Center continues to be the largest organization in the Pacific dedicated to supporting people living with HIV. HHHRC provides access to prevention methods such as PrEP and rapid HIV antibody testing and continues to fight the stigma that many in our community face.
Over the coming months, HHHRC will honor this 40th anniversary by highlighting key moments in both the HIV epidemic and our response to it, as well as by hearing from those who were on the front lines over the past four decades. While we have had many biomedical advances that are helping improve lives, we still come up against many challenges in housing, mental health, and substance use and face discrimination that impacts the quality of life for our clients and their families.
We cultivate hope as advances continue to allow us to envision the elimination of HIV in the islands. We also know there is much more work to be done so that we all may be free of suffering, free from hate, and free to be ourselves and celebrate our community with pride. Mahalo for 40 years of support and for honoring the journey with us over 2023.