Support This




Mayor Thomas M. Menino, municipal leader


*Donations are made in honor of, tribute to, or memory of the honorees, as gifts that support the programs and services of AIDS Action Committee. Thank you for supporting our critical work.

Led the way on intravenous needle exchange and citywide AIDS education

When Tom Menino was still a district city councilor from Hyde Park, he asked “two kids from Harvard Business School” to study the rates of HIV infection among Boston residents with those of New Orleans and municipalities in New Jersey. The results were startling: Boston had a much higher rate of infection.

The issue of needle exchange was a hot topic in the city. Then-Mayor Ray Flynn had proposed a needle exchange pilot program that was being opposed by then-Governor Michael Dukakis and state lawmakers. Menino admits he knew little about the issue. “I was so na´ve that I didn’t even know what a syringe was,” he says. “But there was something about the issue that intrigued me and I told my staff we were going to do something about it.”

‘We have to educate people about this on an almost daily basis.’

Menino’s ambitious proposal called for 24 full-time outreach workers to educate intravenous drug users about the risk of AIDS; two community health vans to be deployed to at-risk neighborhoods to provide general health education as well as AIDS prevention information; increasing the availability of drug treatment programs; designating June as “AIDS prevention month,” and implementing Flynn’s needle exchange program. Acknowledging the powerful political resistance to needle exchange, Menino told the Boston Globe at the time: “It will take a long time to get that program in place. In the meantime, we need to be doing something.”

Five years later, Menino became Mayor when he won a special election after Flynn was appointed ambassador to the Vatican by President Clinton. Just a few short months later, Menino implemented a citywide clean needle exchange program. Called AHOPE (Addicts Health Opportunity Program Exchange), it was the state’s first needle exchange program and included many of the elements of Menino’s first proposal as a city councilor: outreach workers, a mobile health van, and harm reduction educational materials. It also included the creation of Safe Place, a drop-in site that provided substance abuse referrals and case management assistance, as well as food for drug users.

Menino says he took the opportunity when he was running for mayor to educate himself further about AIDS and the gay community — which were one and the same at the time. He called Harry Collings, whom he first met at the Boston Redevelopment Authority in the 1970s, and asked him to put a group together of gay and lesbian leaders for him to meet. Collings gathered about 20 power brokers and activists to meet with Menino. “We sat down together and talked about the issues,” Menino says.

The group made a lasting impact — as has Collings himself, which Menino is quick to add. Partly as a result, Menino has been, unquestioningly, one of the country’s municipal leaders on the issues of HIV prevention. In 1993 he assembled an advisory board of leading public health officials to help him implement policies around AIDS treatment and HIV infection prevention. He hired John Auerbach, who is now the Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, to run the Boston Public Health Commission.

In 2001, he raised money to help pay for a liver transplant for Belynda Dunn, a longtime employee of AIDS Action Committee who was a leading HIV educator in the city’s African American community. Dunn, who was HIV positive, had been denied payment for a transplant by her health insurer because of her HIV status. Menino announced the funding at a moving press conference at the Boston Living Center. The move was classic Menino: acting on the emotion generated by a heartbreaking story of injustice and using his position and pulpit to move quickly to solve the problem. “I thought it was important to act,” he says. “I saw a problem and I tried to solve it.”

Today, Menino describes the state of HIV and AIDS in the city as something that has stabilized somewhat thanks to the work of organizations like AIDS Action, the Living Center, Community Servings, and the Victory Program. But he warns, “We have to educate people about this on an almost daily basis. We cannot let our guard down and that’s why I’m involved.”

Guest Book

Share a thought about Mayor Menino. Sign his guest book!

Sign the Guest Book

Records 1 - 25 of 1,001+

Florencia Belt
Wed, May 24, 2017
Over the next few years, with fuel prices expected to steadily increase even more, the sale of small cars is set to rocket. The clear winner in the A-Class at the moment appears to be the Lotus Exige '06, which is a mid-engine rear-wheel drive car that started just within the confines of A-class with a PI of 510. Hobby-grade models are generally more expensive to get into with prices ranging from as low as $100 to well over $500, depending on the model.
Feel free to visit my website Las Vegas cosmetic dentists ( %url )

Dominga Rentoul
Wed, May 24, 2017
Sustain the excellent job and generating the crowd!
My webpage Best forex signal provider ( %url )

Andy Ruddell
Wed, May 24, 2017
Undeniably consider that that you stated. Your favorite reason seemed to be on the internet the easiest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I certainly get irked while other people consider worries that they just don't know about. You controlled to hit the nail upon the highest and also defined out the whole thing without having side effect , other folks can take a signal. Will likely be back to get more. Thank you!
Also visit my homepage; Websitetraffic.Website-Marketing-Ideas.Info ( %url )

Wed, May 24, 2017
You've among the finest websites.
Also visit my web blog: Canadian Computer Store ( %url )

Juliann Fowell
Wed, May 24, 2017
Your advice is rather significant.
Also visit my homepage ... best forex signal software free download ( %url )

Wed, May 24, 2017
I like checking your internet site. Cheers!
Also visit my web-site; family law solicitors ( %url )

Jonas Stroh
Tue, May 23, 2017
Many thanks, this site is really handy.
Here is my web blog family law solicitors ( %url )

Tue, May 23, 2017
Sustain the good work and generating the group!
Here is my page :: forexsignals com ( %url )

Tue, May 23, 2017
Appreciate it! This is an astonishing web site!
Stop by my blog post :: Forex Signals Providers ( %url )

Tue, May 23, 2017
Maintain the excellent job and generating the group!
My web blog: Forex Signals Reviews ( %url )

Maximo Schultz
Tue, May 23, 2017
Wow, attractive site. Thnx ...
my website :: best forex signal provider ( %url )

Tue, May 23, 2017
The downside of the car tax rates is the trouble it'll cause to average or lower income people. A quick guide to car recycling and what happens to the cars ' the most recycled product in the U. Therefore, it will be a wise decision to invest in the new technology rather than relying upon the old technologies.
Feel free to visit my web-site; ccna bootcamp london ( %url )

Lois Dynon
Tue, May 23, 2017
Very enlightening looking forwards to coming back again.
My web blog: Best Forex Signals ( %url )

Rocky Gainford
Tue, May 23, 2017
You've amazing stuff at this point.
Also visit my page: hot and sex ( %url )

Mon, May 22, 2017
Hi, Neat post. There is an issue along with your web site in web explorer, may test this_ IE still is the marketplace leader and a big element of people will omit your fantastic writing because of this problem.
Also visit my site ... Adidas Ultra Boost 2016 ( %url )

Mon, May 22, 2017
Ford Fusion: Ford This car looks bold and practical. The clear winner in the A-Class at the moment appears to be the Lotus Exige '06, which is a mid-engine rear-wheel drive car that started just within the confines of A-class with a PI of 510. Everyone who has ever owned a car will understand what a huge relief that would be in terms of car maintenance.
Feel free to visit my homepage; java evening class london ( %url )

Johnathan Nuttall
Mon, May 22, 2017
Good day, good web site you've got here.
my homepage; rem cua quan 1 ( %url )

Mon, May 22, 2017
Great web site! It looks very expert! Maintain the excellent job!
my blog - forex signals providers ( %url )

Roxie Mockridge
Mon, May 22, 2017
You've fantastic stuff in this case.
Check out my blog 2017 mitsubishi eclipse convertible ( %url )

Mon, May 22, 2017
Especially interesting look forward to returning.
Look into my blog Gstebuch ( %url )

Mon, May 22, 2017
Highly insightful, looking ahead to visiting again.
Check out my homepage: manjakani .co.id ( %url )

Mon, May 22, 2017
Very good web site you have got right here.
Also visit my blog post removals London to Ireland ( %url )

Bonny Martinovich
Mon, May 22, 2017
You're a really useful site; couldn't make it without ya!
My web blog: best forex signals ( %url )

Lane Shively
Mon, May 22, 2017
Your advice is very important.
Also visit my web-site link alternatif Operaqq ( %url )

Mon, May 22, 2017
Wow, attractive website. Thnx ...
My weblog - forex signals providers ( %url )

Records 1 - 25 of 1,001+

If you think this page contains objectionable content, please inform the system administrator.