HOCC’s mission is to empower women infected with, affected by or at risk for HIV by creating and maintaining a collaborative group of care providers and consumers whose shared purpose is to: improve health literacy and self-care; advance knowledge about women’s experience of HIV/AIDS and other disease processes; enhance problem-solving capacities and self-advocacy; promote healthy lifestyle & behavior changes; create solutions together to prevent HIV infection and transmission; reduce health disparities in women of color; and improve access to and retention in optimal care settings.
Since 1997: HOCC Celebrates 20 Years of Women's Programming!
Learn How You Can Help HOCC
Women and HIV/AIDS
Today, women account for more than 1 in 4 new HIV/AIDS cases in the United States. Of these.. Continue
HOCC Member Speaks Out
After hundreds of other experts and HIV organizations have already signed on to a pledge that recognizes that people living with HIV whose treatment has brought their viral load to an undetectable level — which is nearly half of all HIV-positive people in the U.S. — do not transmit HIV to any other person, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has come out with the definitive statement on the subject...read more
This page was last updated: September 18, 2018
Weekly Inspirational Thought
In Your Own Words
"My friend brought me to HOCC a few years ago and now I bring women to HOCC – the women helping women thing really works
and to have nurses help us understand our health we are empowered to live a healthy life
with HIV - I come every month. THANKS!
(HOCC participant for 5 years - 2008)
Non-profit organization for women infected with, affected by, or at risk for HIV/AIDS
The Healing Our Community Collaborative, fondly known as HOCC, has been providing HIV health education and prevention programs for Nearly 3,000 women infected with, affected by, or at risk for HIV/AIDS in the Greater Boston area and throughout Massachusetts. As a small voluntary, nurse-led, peer-driven grassroots non-profit organization, HOCC remains the leader of a community of women reaching out to their peers to reduce the social determinants of health including societal inequities to accessing optimal health care and services that have historically, had a direct negative impact on our community of women. All of HOCC’s programs are for women, by women, about women and an important priority for HOCC is to work toward eliminating health disparities by educating and empowering women to work together toward social change. On Monday, June 12th, HOCC will celebrate its 20th year of HIV health education and prevention programming expecting more than 100 women to be in attendance at our monthly luncheon program. Peer leadership awards, special recognitions, and our annual Leadership and Inspirational Awards dedicated to of HOCC's leaders, will be given out to our community of women over a lovely heart healthy lunch, lot's of laughs, and a few tears. We also will celebrate our seventh year at the the Old South Church on 645 Boylston Street, Boston, across from the Boston Public Library.
For more pictures of the event click
For more information about HOCC click
Women and HIV:
What Women Need to Know
* Over 57,000 women in the United States live with HIV/AIDS.
* Most women get HIV from having sex with men and not using a condom.
* Women from all backgrounds and cultures can get HIV. However, increasing numbers of African American and Latino women have HIV.
Prior HOCC Events and Activities
- From Disparities to Equity: The Power to Make Change: Innovative Partnerships: A Community of Women Empowering Each Other
- National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day: Women, HIV & Aging: The New Frontier
- One Love Program 2012 - WHEL TEAM Rocks!
- MASSCare Health Fair August 16, 2014 - Join Us
Women Be a Savvy Consumer !
WANT TO KNOW ABOUT:
Dealing With Debt
Financing Your Education
Do Not Call Registry for Telemarketing
Food and Nutrition
Filing a Complaint
Legal Help and Information
I have been positive for 23 years and against all odds, I’ve overcome struggle after struggle, and I have become a stronger person as a result. Like many women, I did things in my past that I wouldn’t do today to keep myself and my children alive and well. I contracted HIV while having sex for a fee...
Read more about LA's story
Find a testing site near you
The following are behaviors that increase your chances of getting HIV.
If you answer yes to any of them, you should definitely get an HIV test. If you continue with any of these behaviors, you should be tested every year. Talk to a health care provider about an HIV testing schedule that is right for you.
* Have you had unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex with men who have sex with men, multiple partners, or anonymous partners?
* Have you exchanged sex for drugs or money?
* Have you been diagnosed with or treated for hepatitis, tuberculosis (TB), or a sexually transmitted disease (STD), like syphilis?
* Have you injected drugs or steroids or shared equipment (such as needles, syringes, works) with others?
* Have you had unprotected sex with someone who could answer yes to any of the above questions?
If you have had sex with someone whose history of sex partners and/or drug use is unknown to you or if you or your partner has had many sex partners, then you have more of a chance of being infected with HIV.
Both you and your new partner should get tested for HIV, and learn the results, before having sex for the first time.
Every 9 1/2 minutes someone is
infected with HIV in the United States.
Should I Get an HIV Test?
Flu Vaccine Recommended for Everyone Six Months and Older
This year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends (with few exceptions) that everyone ages six months and older be vaccinated against the flu. This year's vaccine will protect against both the seasonal and the H1N1 flu, so you will need to get only one this year!
Ideas to Control the Flu Include:
* Cough or sneeze only into a tissue ot into your elbow, not into your hands.
* Throw away used tissues.
* Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze.
* Use alcohol-based hand cleaners when water isn't available.
* Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
* Try to avoid close contact with people who are sick.
* If you are sick with flu-like symptoms, stay home from work or school for at least 24 hours after your **fever is gone.
For more information about HIV/AIDS and the flu.
Women's Risk for HIV
Direct From MADPH:
Report on the Status of the HIV/AIDS
Epidemic in Massachusetts
Intersecting Risks: HIV Infection Among Heterosexual Women and Men in Massachusetts
Heterosexual women account for 29% of all Massachusetts residents living with HIV/AIDS and 28% of new diagnoses between 2006 and 2008. Today, HIV infection among females is overwhelmingly driven by heterosexual risk. Important to note: reported cases of HIV transmission via injection drug use has been dramatically lower in recent years for both women and men in Massachusetts. As IDU has declined as a proportion of all new HIV infections among women, heterosexual transmission has emerged as the primary mode of HIV infection for women. Heterosexual HIV transmission now recognized as the leading exposure modes among women which fall under the categories of “presumed” heterosexual at 47% and heterosexual sex at 23% of new HIV infections between 2006 and 2008. This means that among newly diagnosed females, a total of 70% reported only heterosexual sex as a possible HIV exposure mode to their medical providers, yet the majority of these females did not report adequate information about the HIV status or risk status of their male sexual partners to the reporting medical provider to be reported in the heterosexual exposure mode category. The current data classification system clearly underestimates the true impact of heterosexual behavior on HIV/ AIDS case rates among women.
What is noteworthy is that it is more likely and more common for women to have HIV infection through heterosexual contact than for men. Simply put, for heterosexual males in particular, the likelihood of HIV infection from insertive vaginal intercourse alone is biologically less probable given the lower concentration of HIV in vaginal fluids compared to semen, and the limited entry points in the male anatomy for those fluids to reach the blood stream.
To Review the Full Report
WHEL Team (Women's Health
& Education Leadership Team)
Women's Complete Health Guide for All Ages
Easy to understand information
from the nation’s leaders in women’s health.
In the U.S. an estimated 48,100 new human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections occurred in 2009 (1). Of these, 27% were in heterosexual men and women who did not inject drugs, and 64% were in men who have sex with men (MSM), including 3% in MSM who inject drugs. In Since January 2011, data from studies of PrEP among heterosexual men and women have become available, and on July 16, 2012, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a label indication for reduction of risk for sexual acquisition of HIV infection among adults, including both heterosexuals and MSM.* This interim guidance includes consideration of the new information and addresses pregnancy and safety issues for heterosexually active adults at very high risk for sexual HIV acquisition.
For more information about Interim Guidance
Silent No More: HOCC Women's Journeys.
ORAL HEALTH AFFECTS YOUR ENTIRE BODY
HOCC dedicated August's monthly health education program to women and oral health.
THINGS TO KNOW:
Regardless of a person’s HIV status, regular oral health visits involve going to the dentist about every six months. The visits allow your dentist to find infections and conditions early and treat them before they become a problem. It’s estimated that 90% of people living with HIV will develop at least one oral condition related to HIV disease. These conditions, like candidiasis and hairy leukoplakia, may be the first sign of immune suppression linked to HIV infection and in many people are the first signals that lead doctors to encourage HIV testing.
Click for more information
Check out September/October Newsletter about HOCC's Oral Health Presentation -travel down the BPHC page for program review
Glossary of HIV/AIDS Related Terms
Expanded CDC Guidelines for HIV Prevention Pill for Heterosexually Active Adults
In March 2012, President Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum creating an interagency Federal Working Group (Working Group) to explore the intersection of HIV/AIDS, violence against women and girls, and gender-related health disparities. This newly released report (September 2013) has just been published with results showing an alarming number of women and girls who experience intimate partner violence (IPV) and that over one in five women living with HIV reported physical harm since HIV diagnosis, with half of these events attributed to being HIV-positive. (please read the full report to become fully informed about the connection between IPV and HIV and women).
HOCC made this connection almost 16 years ago with HIV positive women’s stories of intimate partner violence, nearly life-threatening condom negotiation, and/or how they became HIV positive through heterosexual unprotected sex. Each year, HOCC dedicates programming towards raising awareness about domestic violence in our community of women and provides support, connections, and referrals to services to support their journey forward to empowered health and wellness.
Join us on
See above for more information
I Feel Great!
MVMC founding member WOODY
HOCC's WHEL Team Speaks Out
World AIDS Day Film Clip - Hear More
Viral Suppression May Bring HIV Transmission Risk Close to Zero
At a CROI press conference, Jens Lundgren, MD, chief physician and director of the Copenhagen HIV Program, estimated that it is likely that the chance of transmitting HIV with an undetectable viral load is closer to zero, or perhaps even zero. READ MORE
Looking for more information about building strategies for maintaining your health and wellness? Follow the Link Below
Cervical Cancer Screening and Prevention Recommendations.
"HIV-seropositive women who have initiated sexual intercourse should have a Pap test at 6-month intervals during the first year after diagnosis of HIV infection and, if the results are normal, annually thereafter."
For More Information, Follow the Link Below
Note: refer to page 212