In the fall 1987, a working group was formed in Boston to help coordinate planning for HIV-related services, prevention, and education. The Boston AIDS Consortium began operations the following January with the goal of ensuring effective services for people affected by HIV/AIDS and enabling them to live healthy and productive lives. In its eighteen year existence, the Consortium worked with over seventy public and private agencies and two hundred individuals.
The Records of the Boston AIDS Consortium provide valuable insight into community-based mobilization in response to the AIDS epidemic.
The collection is open for research.
Background on Boston AIDS Consortium
Established in 1988 under the Harvard School of Public Health by a group of community leaders, the Boston AIDS Consortium (BAC) sought to address the complex needs of individuals at risk or living with HIV/AIDS in the Boston area. By 1995 the BAC became an independent non-profit organization, but continued to bring together community leaders and stakeholders to address the service needs of people and families living with HIV/AIDS. The BAC also played an important role in informing policy development and facilitating collaboration on behalf of advocacy efforts and planning for community needs. The consortium defined its work by grouping it into four categories: community planning and support, technical assistance and capacity development, education and advocacy, and community convening.
Throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s, the BAC also coordinated the allocation and distribution of the Ryan White CARE Act funds within the Greater Boston area and oversaw training for the various community organizations. The Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency Act, passed in 1990, became the largest federally funded program in the United States for people living with HIV/AIDS. The fund, named in honor of Indiana teenage Ryan White, who contracted AIDS through a tainted hemophilia treatment and was expelled from school because of the disease, distributed money to municipalities to improve availability of care for low-income, uninsured and under-insured victims of AIDS and their families. The act also funded local and state primary medical care providers, support services, healthcare provider training programs, and provided technical assistance to such organizations.
The bulk of the collection consists of materials related to the Ryan White Care Act including transcripts of the public hearings held from September-October 1992 that determined how funds received by Boston from the Care Act should be distributed and spent, and minutes from the Planning Council.
Other records relate to various workgroups or initiatives that the BAC was involved in. The Community Health Nexus was a federally funded collaboration of AIDS service organizations working to provide technical assistance and training in the Greater Boston area. Future Search was an ambitious initiative to gather AIDS service providers and users to plan future care efforts.
The BAC was awarded a three-year grant in 2002 by the Office of Minority Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for MassTACTIC, a project that provided grants to community organizations to improve HIV/AIDS services to disproportionately impacted communities. Materials focus on various aspects of training: cultural and linguistic competence, grant writing, leadership, and prevention.
Acquired from Boston AIDS Consortium, 2006.
Processed by Dex Haven, 2013.
Cite as: Boston AIDS Consortium Records (MS 458). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.