In the early days of the AIDS epidemic, JRI Health was founded and began its work by developing supported housing programs for people living with HIV. Since that time JRI Health has become the largest provider of HIV housing in New England, administering both congregate and scattered site housing programs. In Greater Boston, JRI Health provides housing services to nearly 300 individuals while also administering a statewide subsidy program for an additional 200 people with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) throughout the state. In addition to housing, JRI Health also provides the following services to PLWHA: legal services, housing search and advocacy, medical case management, peer support, and a Community Health Worker program that provides intensive home-based support including directly observed therapy and patient navigation.
JRI Health works to prevent the spread of HIV through its prevention services which include HIV/STI counseling and testing, along with a drop-in center for LGBTQ youth (Boston GLASS) where members can access behavioral health services, mentoring, support groups, educational programs, housing advocacy, risk reduction education and social support. Between its HIV prevention and support services, JRI Health serves more than 2,500 people annually.
JRI Health has been the state's primary provider of training and capacity building services for organizations funded to deliver HIV prevention and support services. JRI Health designs and implements skills-based, core competency trainings for providers throughout the state along with organizational development services including strategic planning, team building, visioning and restructuring.
In Massachusetts, HIV prevention has made great strides over the past 25 years. The number of new HIV diagnoses has decreased more than 40% since 2000. According to a report from the Department of Public Health, Massachusetts residents with HIV are twice as likely as patients nationally to have the disease under control. This can be attributed to programs such as JRI Health, who provide support and access to medication for those living with HIV.