Maui AIDS Foundation raised $19,000 during this year’s Mardi Gras fundraising party in what the organization is calling a “roaring success.” This grassroots event was the foundation’s second annual Mardi Gras, developed and organized in response to “serious and ongoing funding challenges experienced by Maui AIDS Foundation in carrying out its mission to reduce the impact of HIV/AIDS across the three islands that make up Maui County.”
The celebration boasted over 300 guests and featured a show by Glamity and Maui Roller Girls, and dancing to Men In Black II and DJ Blast. Maui AIDS hopes to develop the Mardi Gras event into “the premier party celebration of the Pacific.
The organization plans to use funds from the event to fill in gaps that government contracts don’t cover, allowing Maui AIDS Foundation to provide “a full spectrum of services including prevention and education and free HIV and Hep-C testing for all of Maui County, as well as assistance with services including linkage to medical care, access to HIV medications, financial housing assistance, food, and emotional and support.”
Testing is the greatest need of the Maui community, a foundation official said in an interview. Individuals who begin a consistent medication regime lower transfer of HIV by 98 percent. There are currently 400 reported cases of HIV on Maui, and one in four sexually active youth between the ages 16-24 will have an STD by the time they turn 24.
For more information visit Mauiaids.org.