SAAF’s History

CLICK THE VIDEO ABOVE TO SEE A SHORT FILM ABOUT SAAF

In 1985, a few concerned citizens decided to make a difference in the Tucson community’s response to HIV & 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.

Working in concert, the three agencies created an array of services for 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. At the heart of our mission is the conviction that people living with HIV/AIDS have the right to determine what services they require and that stigma is a problem affecting us all.

In 2014, SAAF took over several initiatives from Wingspan, formerly southern Arizona’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community center. This has helped to broaden SAAF’s scope of services which now include the Eon Youth Lounge & Anti-Violence Programs. SAAF changed it’s mission to more accurately reflect our expanded reach. SAAF’s new mission, to cultivate a healthy & stigma-free society through transformative action, more accurately reflects the work SAAF does in our community.

In 2015, SAAF celebrated 30 years of providing services and 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; & LGBTQ community outreach & engagement.

News and Events

  • See Ricky Martin LIVE!, February 14, 2017

    The 2017 Jell-O Wrestling raffle prize has been announced and this year’s winner will receive 2 tickets to see Ricky Martin Live in concert in Las Vegas on Sunday July 2; a 2 night stay at the Monte Carlo Hotel & Resort; and a $100 Visa gift card. Tickets are limited to 3,000 and winner […]

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  • Thornhill Lopez Center on 4th- Emma’s Story, February 1, 2017

    I jumped in front of a car today. That’s what I told my mom one day when I had tried to kill myself. Luckily I didn’t get hit, but I didn’t trust myself. My mom took me to the hospital and I spent two weeks there. I always knew I liked girls and this was […]

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  • Thornhill Lopez Center on 4th- James’ Story, January 26, 2017

    My name is James. I’m 17 years old. I identify as trans masculine, although sometimes I like to use the word queer.  I’m turning 18 in just a few weeks and I’m not sure where I’m going to go or what I’m going to do but I know I can’t live at home with my […]

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  • SAAF Announces Creation of Thornhill Lopez Center on 4th- A SAAF Place for Youth, January 4, 2017

    SAAF is very excited to announce its newest project to support the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community, the Thornhill Lopez Center on 4th- A SAAF Place for Youth. This project will create a dedicated space on 4th avenue which will house several of SAAF’s LGBTQ youth-centered prevention programs, including Eon, HIV Youth […]

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  • Wanted: Your Old Clothes! Savers Clothing Drive is On through December 15, December 8, 2016

    SAAF will be collecting clothing for our annual Savers FUNDrive through Thursday December 15! Bring your unwanted clothing to SAAF, located at 375 S. Euclid Avenue by Thursday December 15, let us know it is for the Savers FUNDrive, and SAAF will get a donation! For every 5 pounds of clothing, SAAF gets $1 and […]

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The mission of the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation is to cultivate a healthy and stigma-free society through transformative action.