Atlanta Harm Reduction Coalition

The Atlanta Harm Reduction Coalition's co-founder is Mona Bennett, also known as “Mona Love,” who started working with ACT UP Atlanta in the early days of the AIDS crisis and saw a need in the community for preventative measures like condoms and availability of clean needles. The current Executive Director is Dr. Mojgan Zare, who leads the organization in their mission to “Meet People Where They Are.”

AHRC formed in 1994 as a response to a high rate of HIV transmission among injection drug user’s (IDUs) in Atlanta. The organization provides a variety of harm reduction services to various populations that are at a high risk for HIV, overdose, homelessness, and violence. These include free HIV, Hepatitis C, and STI testing, a mobile syringe exchange, and free access to naloxone, which reverses opioid overdose. They also organize group and individual counseling, nutrition programs, programs for mothers, and pipelines to medical and social services. AHRC contributes to policy conversations and research in at-risk communities and provides trainings in harm reduction models. Harm reduction approaches to reducing HIV transmission have been proven highly effective, and syringe exchanges became legal in Georgia in April 2019.