October 20, 2009

LGBT Helping Hands 10/20/09-Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation

In 1985, a few concerned citizens decided to make a difference in this community's response to AIDS: they formed the Tucson AIDS Project (TAP), followed shortly by the Shanti Foundation. In 1987, a group of people living with HIV/AIDS incorporated their grassroots advocacy efforts into the People with AIDS Coalition of Tucson, PACT for Life. Thousands have joined over the years in a community effort to meet the many challenges HIV/AIDS presents for Southern Arizona.

Working in concert, the three agencies created an array of services to people infected with and affected by HIV/AIDS, meeting basic needs as well as more sophisticated ones, while simultaneously providing information and skill-building programs to help others prevent further infection.

In 1997, again responding to the needs of their clients and community, PACT, Shanti, and TAP merged under the name Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation (SAAF) creating one of the largest nonprofit consolidations in the history of Pima County. SAAF continues the traditions of PACT, Shanti, and TAP, providing direct services and programs in safe, supportive environments that enhance the quality of life for those living with and affected by HIV/AIDS; assisting people in avoiding HIV infection; and empowering people to lead healthy, productive lives.

In June 2000, the Arizona Department of Health Services named SAAF the state’s AIDS Service Organization of the Year. At the heart of our mission is the conviction that people living with HIV/AIDS have the right to determine what services they require.

In July 2007, SAAF celebrates its 10 year Anniversary as a merged AIDS service organization with a history of service going back to 1985.

Today, SAAF continues to be the only community-based organization in Southern Arizona providing case management and ancillary support services for people living with HIV/AIDS and their families, culturally appropriate prevention and education programs to reduce the rate of infection, and extensive trainings and opportunities for community members to fill critical support roles.

Click here to find out more.

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