HOA is an acronym that stands for “Home Owners Association." This is an organization in a housing community that makes and enforces rules about the appearance and maintenance of properties and that maintains common areas (clubhouses, tennis courts, pools, etc.) with money from membership fees.
Nearly all private neighborhoods and gated communities have an HOA. Of course, many apartment complexes have HOAs as well.
The simple answer is no.
Anyone who purchases or leases an apartment that's part of an HOA will be required to pay the fees to remain apart of the HOA. Usually, you can't choose whether or not you want to be apart of the HOA because if the apartment is already apart of the HOA, its tenant must be, as well. You should take that into consideration when applying for an apartment that has an HOA.
That's totally up to you. As always, weigh the pros with the cons and decide the type of apartment you want to live in. If you think you'd enjoy having a clubhouse or a gym or a guard gate, then maybe the fees are worth it to you.