Amigos Sin Barreras/Friends Without Barriers (Amigos) is a nonprofit organization currently operating two programs in the South Bay of Greater Los Angeles. Its first program initiated in July 1994 to provide outreach and education, information, referral, and a 24-hour hotline. Amigos received nonprofit status in July 1995.
In March 1996, Amigos opened its drop-in center named "Circle of Friends." It collaborates with South Bay Family Healthcare Center, Being Alive, Women at Risk, and Harbor/UCLA Medical Center to provide myriad of services complementing these agencies.
Since its inception, Amigos has expanded its services to include a holistic approach to the treatment of AIDS. These include:
Massage Therapy: Releases toxins caused by multiple medications, and reduces stress and depression.
Acupressure: Treatment for Peripheral Neuoropathy (nerve damage which causes pain, numbness, and tingling sensations in the extremities).
Yoga to: Increase strength, "reduce stress," relieve back and shoulder pain, "reduce need for some drugs," soothe headache and migraine, "sleep better and digest better," decrease depression and nervousness.
Other services include nutritious hot meals, grief and treatment counseling, prevention/education, advocacy, computer training, and a video loan program.
Amigos' second program, "Circle of Life AIDS Food Pantry," provides non-perishable foods and staples, food certificates once a month, and hot, nutritious meals twice a month to over 400 men, women, and children living with HIV and AIDS.
Amigos' Board of Directors is comprised of a multidisciplinary team of specialists representing the various cultures it serves. This selection was made with strict regard to knowledge, experience, and sensitivity to the different cultures served. Amigos' Board members are either infected or affected by HIV and AIDS. They share the vision of its Founder.