"HOCC is a community of bright vibrant women of all colors and ages and backgrounds coming together to celebrate life each month"  

(HOCC  participant for 3 Years / June, 2010)
Who Attends HOCC Programing?
About Us
HOCC Women

Join us 
for our monthly program 
on March 11th 
see Home Page for More 
Information call
Living Strong Recipes
This cholesterol-free tasty dish is virtually fat free 
and is prepared with only 1 tablespoon 
of oil for 16 servings. 

2 cans   (16 oz) great northern beans 
1 Tbsp  olive oil 
1/2 lb   fresh mushrooms, sliced 
1 C   onion, coarsely chopped 
2 C carrots, sliced 
1 C celery, coarsely chopped 
1 clove   garlic, minced 
3 C   cut-up peeled fresh tomatoes or 
        1-1/2 lbs canned whole tomatoes cut up 
1 tsp  dried sage 
1 tsp   dried thyme 
1/2 tsp  dried oregano 
to taste   black pepper 
1 bay leaf, crumbled 
4 C cooked elbow macaroni 

1. Drain beans and reserve liquid. Rinse beans. 
2. Heat oil in a 6-quart kettle; add mushrooms, onion, carrots, celery, and garlic and saute for 5 minutes. 
3. Add tomatoes, sage, thyme, oregano, pepper, and bay leaf. 
4, Cover and cook over medium heat 20 minutes. 
5. Cook macaroni according to directions on package using unsalted water. 
6. Drain when cooked. Do not overcook. 
7. Combine reserved bean liquid with water to make 4 cups. 
8. Add liquid, beans, and cooked macaroni to vegetable mixture. 
9. Bring to a boil; cover and simmer until soup is throughly heated. 
10. Stir occasionally. 

Yield: 16 servings--Serving Size: 1 cup 
Each serving provides: 
Calories: 158               Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 154 mg           Total fat: 1 g
Saturated fat: less than 1 g
* If using canned tomatoes, sodium would be higher. 

For More Heart Healthy Recipes:  
Just the Facts
Today, women account for more than 1 in 4 new HIV/AIDS cases in the United States. Of these newly infected women, about 2 out of 3 are African-American. Most of these women got HIV from having unprotected sex with a man.

AIDS is now the leading cause of death for African-American women ages 25–34. And African-American women are more than 21 times as likely to die from HIV/AIDS as non-Hispanic white women. Some reasons why African-American women are affected by HIV/AIDS more than women of other races include:

Poverty — One in 4 African-American women lives in poverty, which is strongly linked to HIV risk. People living in poverty also get lower-quality health care in general, which can mean advancing from HIV infection to AIDS more quickly. 
•Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) — HIV is most commonly spread to women through sexual contact. Untreated STIs that break the skin, such as genital herpes, give HIV easy access into the bloodstream. African-American women have high rates of many STIs. 

Read more from: HIV and Women's Health
In Your Own Voice: HOCC Participant's Testimonials (2005-2010)
This page was last updated: March 8, 2019

*   "This program is one of my main lifelines – I enjoy coming here each month not only for the atmosphere but to see the many women"  (HOCC participant for 4 years - 2007)

*  "I love that you have this program just for us – thank you all and God Bless you!" (HOCC participant 18 months 2008)

*  "This has been the best thing that was recommended to me since I was told I was HIV positive - I get more information about living with HIV than anywhere else - it is really about women helping women". (HOCC participant for 4 years - 2005)

*  "Meeting different women with the same feelings and ideas as me – it’s nice to know I’m not alone"
(HOCC participant for 2 years - 2009) 

*  "HOCC has a unified, positive vibe – nurse involvement – balanced with peer involvement – a wonderful network for women to be supported to live life in a positive way and pass what we learn forward to our HOCC sisters, family, and community"  (HOCC participant for 2 years - 2010)

Non-profit organization for women infected with, affected by, or at risk for HIV/AIDS 
Women and HIV: What Women Need to Know
What is HIV?
HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. HIV is the virus that causes AIDS.

HIV is a virus that attacks your immune system. The immune system has "T cells" that help protect your body from disease. A person with HIV does not have as many "T cells" as a healthy person. HIV makes it hard for your body to fight off sickness.

A person with HIV is called HIV positive (HIV+).

How do you get HIV?
You can get HIV by:

* Having sex with a person who is HIV + and not using a condom

* Sharing needles or syringes ("drug works") with someone who has HIV

* Getting blood from a person who has HIV


What Women Need to Know: 

Related Links:  
Download  Additional Resources:
Black Women Taking Charge in
the Fight Against AIDS
Older People and  HIV
Massachusetts HIV/AIDS Data Fact Sheet
Women at Risk of HIV Infection
Pregnancy and HIV Fact Sheet
October was Breast Cancer Awareness Month and like HIV Infection – women with breast cancer have better health outcomes with early detection and treatment!

Thanks to screening, breast cancer often is found before a woman has any physical symptoms. Yet a woman should know how her breasts normally look and feel so that she can report any unusual changes to her doctor.
Reasons to call your doctor include:
•A lump in or near your breast or under your arm 
•Thick or firm tissue in or near your breast or under your arm 
•A change in the size or shape of your breast       
•Nipple discharge (fluid that is not breast milk) 
•Nipple changes, such as a nipple that points or faces inward (inverted) into the breast
•Changes to your breast skin, areola, or nipple, such as itching, redness, scaling, dimples, or puckers.

Keep in mind that most breast changes are not cancer.  Still, any breast changes or pain should be checked out by a doctor. If you notice a change in your breast, call your doctor and schedule a visit. Don’t wait until your "next checkup
                                                     Learn more:
Aging Before Your Time
Growing Older:Things to Know
HOCC is for all women, infected with, affected by or at-risk for HIV/AIDS. HOCC reaches out to the communities most affected by HIV infection and most at risk for poor health outcomes due to race, class, gender, and sexuality.  The women who attend HOCC are largely inner- city women of color (nearly 80%) from the Greater Boston area.  About 70% of HOCC HIV+  women live at or below the poverty level, and many are disabled. Within the first two weeks of each month, nearly 40% of the HOCC women lack the resources (money or food) to have  
three meals a day for either their children and/or themselves.  The mean age of HOCC  women is 46 (age range 14-81), and over half did not graduate from high school.  Nearly 70% of HOCC women have experienced depression in their lifetime, with most having experienced a depressive episode since learning their HIV status. Close to 100% of the HOCC women have a history of childhood sexual abuse, domestic violence and/or are currently engaged in an abusive relationship.  A history of violence as a child or as an adult is frequently reported among women living with HIV.  Domestic violence (DV) is often an under-recognized barrier to women’s ability to access regular medical care for HIV/AIDS as it relates to abuser interference, and feelings of shame and stigma.  Domestic violence increases women’s risk for illness progression when the abuse prevents women from accessing health care or their ability to take HIV medicines on a consistent basis.  Women’s risk for violence is further increased when they attempt to negotiate for safer sex and condom use, and therefore puts them at greater risk for HIV infection and transmission. Most HOCC women report HIV infection via heterosexual sex. From 1999 to 2008, the proportion of HIV diagnoses among females exposed to HIV through heterosexual sex with partners of unknown risk and HIV status (presumed heterosexual sex) increased from 30% to 45%.
Living Strong Recipes
Smothered Greens
These healthy greens get their rich flavor from smoked turkey, instead of fatback.

General Screenings and Immunizations for Women 
For More Heart Healty Recipes:
          Early Detection - Saves Lives

3 cups water
¼ pound smoked turkey breast, skinless
1 tablespoon fresh hot pepper, chopped
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon cloves, ground
2 cloves garlic, crushed
½ teaspoon thyme
1 scallion, chopped
1 teaspoon ginger, ground
¼ cup onion, chopped
2 pounds greens (mustard, turnip, collard, kale, or mixture)

1. Place all ingredients except greens into large saucepan and bring to boil.
2. Prepare greens by washing thoroughly and removing stems.
3. Tear or slice leaves into bite-size pieces.
4. Add greens to turkey stock. Cook for 20–30 minutes until tender.

Yield: 5 servings 
Serving size: 1 cup 
Calories 80 
Total Fat 2 g 
Saturated Fat 0 g 
Cholesterol 16 mg 
Sodium 378 mg 
Total Fiber 4 g 
Protein 9 g 
Carbohydrates 9 g 
Potassium 472

Intersecting Risks: HIV Infection Among Heterosexual Women and Men in Massachusetts
 Reading  Corner: HOCC's Recommendations
1. The Healthy Woman: A Complete Guide for All Ages
   Easy to understand information from the nation’s leaders in women’s health
  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women’s Health

2. Tasty Recipes for People with Diabetes and Their Families
  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, CDC, NIH, NDET

3. Heart Healthy Home Cooking: African American Style
  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, NIH, NHLBI

4. Delicious Heart Healthy Latino Recipes
  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, NIH

5. Keep the Beat: Heart Healthy Recipes
  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, NIH, NHLBI

6. A Lifetime of Good Health: Your Guide to Staying Healthy
    Office of Women's Health
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Women's Mental Health:What it means to you
Women's Health Topics
Heart Disease


Type 2 Diabetes

Mental Health

Healthy Aging

Oral Health

Respiratory Health

Sexually Transmitted Infections

Violence Against Women

Reproductive Health



Blood Disorders

Autoimmune Disease


Urologic and  Kidney Health

Digestive Health

Respiratory Health

Skin and Hair Health



Women and Pain

Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Women and Cancer
Links to Healthy Eating
HIV Health Checklist