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AIDS action committee opens new drop-in center

Banner Staff

AIDS Action Committee (AAC) has opened a drop-in center and an on-site MOMS specialty HIV pharmacy at its Amory Street location in Jackson Square.

Both moves mark the expansion of AIDS Action’s treatment adherence program, which helps clients living with HIV and AIDS maintain their often complex medical regimens.

The drop-in center is a space where clients can access multiple resources and services. Within the center clients can access food, use computers for housing and job searches, attend legal clinics and talk with one of AAC’s peer advocates about living with HIV.

The drop-in center also houses AIDS Action’s HIV Health Library, which has a wealth of information about HIV and viral hepatitis in print, digital and video formats.

MOMS Pharmacy, a specialty HIV/AIDS pharmacy with additional locations in New York, California and Washington, will operate at the back of the drop-in center.

“Having MOMS on-site, with pharmacists who are experts in HIV/AIDS medicine available to answer questions, will make it easier and more convenient for our clients to adhere to their treatment plans,” said Rebecca Haag, president and CEO of AIDS Action Committee, which provides services to one in six people in Massachusetts living with a diagnosis of HIV. “Ultimately, this is going to lead to better health outcomes for our clients. That, in turn, reduces the spread of HIV, reduces suffering for those with HIV and reduces health care costs.”

A 2008 evaluation of a MOMS Pharmacy collaboration with the AIDS service organization Action Point by the San Francisco Department of Public Health found that in-hospital treatment costs per person dropped 59 percent from $3,317 to $1,351 after MOMS Pharmacy began fulfilling most of Action Point’s clients’ medication needs.

“HIV/AIDS is not a disease than can, or should, be managed like other chronic diseases,” said Anthony D. Luna, president of MOMS Pharmacy. “HIV/AIDS presents a unique array of challenges that require it to be treated with a very specific and comprehensive form of expertise and understanding.”