Prevention Programs

Prevention Programs target populations at increased risk of HIV infection or transmission as well as those affected by stigma by offering specially-designed interventions that provide a supportive, educational environment in which harm reduction & empowerment can be effective.

Some of SAAF’s targeted populations include: youth, men who have sex with men (MSM), lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth, people living with HIV/AIDS, women, jail/prison re-entry men, and communities of color.

HIV, sexually transmitted infections, substance abuse, and hepatitis prevention strategies include individual risk-reduction counseling, health education and empowerment workshops, risk-reduction support groups, peer education training, social activities, drop-in lounge, referrals, and distribution of free condoms and safer-sex materials.

Prevention Programs for Adults

Syringe Access Program (SAP)

SAAF’s Syringe Access Program (SAP) provides information, education and referrals on HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis and Sexually Transmitted Infections to adult men and women who are current or former drug users.

The exchange is 1 for 1. New participants can receive up to 10 syringes when they register, even if you don’t bring in any. You can exchange up to 50 syringes per visit. We also offer alcohol wipes, cookers, cottons, tourniquets, waters, bleach, split kits, wound care kits, & hygiene kits.

SAP days/hours at SAAF are:
Monday, Wednesday, & Thursday 4:00-7:00pm
Please arrive by 6:45pm to ensure you get served.

Life Point, run through the Pima County Health Department, also offers syringe access services. Click the link below for more information.

Life Point Information Brochure- 2015- Front


Promoting a greater awareness of health issues and building a stronger more supportive community.

The MSHAPE Lounge features Wi-Fi, a lending library (DVDs and Books), game nights, movie nights, men’s health discussions, community events, volunteering, condoms, lube, safer sex information and more. The Lounge is open from 3:00 to 8:00 p.m., Tuesday – Thursday.

MSHAPE is for gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer, transgender, curious or questioning individuals in Tucson that would like to get involved in a personal empowerment group that attends community events and coordinates their own social events.

For more information, visit our Facebook page.


STEPP (Steps Towards Effective Positive Prevention) is a program designed to assist HIV positive individuals to improve their quality of life and health outcomes. STEPP holds Healthy Relationships groups that help individuals increase their communication, awareness, problem-solving, & decision-making skills. Healthy Relationships groups are participant driven, interactive, and use group discussions, movie clips, and role-plays. Food is served at every Healthy Relationships group meeting and particpants receive $40 in gift cards for completing the group.

For more information, please contact:
Michael Lopez, STEPP/MSHAPE Education Specialist, at


OneLife is a collaborative project of CODAC, SAAF, and UA CON. The project is based out of CODAC Living Out Loud Health and Wellness Center (3130 E Broadway Blvd.) OneLife uses a harm reduction model and connects LGBTQI and allied individuals to health education, therapy, peer and recovery support, social groups, testing, & medical care.

A Nurse Practitioner from UA CON and Medical Assistants from CODAC provide Hepatitis A/B vaccinations. Health Education Specialists from SAAF provide HIV and Hepatitis B & C rapid and confirmatory testing, risk reduction counseling, and linkages to care and treatment. SAAF staff also provide POL, a program designed to train and enlist the help of key LGBTQI opinion leaders to help change risk sexual norms and behaviors in their community and SHIELD supports former and current substance users and people who hang out with substance users, to educate their peers on substance use risk reduction. You receive $25 for completing POL or SHIELD plus snacks at each group meeting!

You do not need to be a member of CODAC to receive testing or to participate in POL or SHIELD. Testing services, POL, & SHIELD are provided completely free of charge.
The OneLife Project is supported by grant number TI025773, awarded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

For more information, please contact:
Living Out Loud Health and Wellness Center at (520) 202-1840
Katie Kilby, OneLife Senior Health Education Specialist, at (520) 202-1840 x 3730

Prevention Programs for Youth

YELL Logo Rainbow copyYELL

With the support of Cenpatico, the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation is excited to create and lead Y.E.L.L. (Youth Empowerment and L.G.T.B.Q. Leadership) Coalition, a substance abuse prevention coalition for the city of Tucson and its community members. The coalition will work to deliver information and presentations to the Tucson community increasing the knowledge around the dangers and consequences of underage substance use, in addition to educating around the laws and regulations in the state of Arizona relating to substance use, sale, and purchase of alcohol and marijuana.

The coalition will participate in and support local events promoting public health and intends to recruit interested youth and community supports at these events. Through providing educational presentations and trainings for community members and youth, the coalition will help form and support a LGTBQ youth-led subcommittee. Using the Botvin Life Skills training curriculum, we will develop leadership, communication, decision making, and public speaking skills with the youth as a way to support the youth sub-committee to effectively engage and educate their peers around the risks of substance use.
Because LGTBQ youth are statistically more likely to engage in substance use and risk taking behavior like riding in a car with someone who has been drinking, we are creating a youth led sub-committee. Through the use of Botvin Life Skills Training we will facilitate the development of leadership, communication and decision making skills in the sub-committee. This training will facilitate these youth becoming peer leaders in their communities and support them in educating their peers to make healthy decisions and the risks of substance use.
Utilizing the creativity and skill of the youth sub-committee we will create messaging and a social media presence that encourages healthier decision making while also educating around the laws and ordinances related to underage substance use and possession. Using these marketing materials we will also create a “sticker shock” campaign that will be executed in both alcohol and medical marijuana retailers.
We are excited to support an important youth population and facilitate opportunities for them to actively construct and inform their community making it healthier for them and their peers.

For more information, please contact:
Moureen Drury, Senior Health Education Specialist, at:
Paco Velez, Youth Programs Manager, at:

Anchor logo


The ANCHOR Project (Accessible Network for Coordinated Housing, Opportunities, and Resilience) is designed to provide culturally responsive and affirming services to young adults who identify with the spectrum of LGBTQ&A (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, and straight ally) communities. As a team of community partners, the ANCHOR Project is equipped to offer supportive services in a variety of areas, including:

Housing Stabilization

Social Opportunities

Mental and Emotional Well-being

Community Engagement

Employment Skills

Goal Achievement

Personal Empowerment

Financial Education

Recovery Support

Educational Goals

Healthy Decision-Making

Much More!

The ANCHOR Project is a partnership of three organizations serving Southern Arizona. The University of Arizona’s Southwest Institute for Research on Women (UA-SIROW), the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation (SAAF), and CODAC Behavioral Health Services have been collaborating on projects benefiting LGBTQ&A youth and young adults for over a decade and are excited to join forces again on the ANCHOR Project! Each organization brings its expertise and talented staff to the project to benefit LGBTQ&A young adults throughout Tucson and Southern Arizona.

The ANCHOR Project is for participants 18 years of age and older.

For more information, please contact:
Paco Velez, Youth Programs Manager, at:
visit the ANCHOR web site.



Click on image to view details

Your Story

Your Story is a collaboration of the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation, Amistades, Inc., the
University of Arizona (UA) Campus Health and Office of LGBTQ Affairs, and The Partnership
which proposes to build sustainable, high-capacity community prevention infrastructure in
Tucson/Pima County, AZ to prevent and reduce substance use, HIV and Hepatitis transmission by reaching Latino, Native American and LGBTQ young people ages 13 – 24.


1) Offer the Storytelling for Empowerment intervention to reduce substance use and risky sexual behaviors, increase resiliency, and promote positive cultural identity;

2) Utilize PROMISE, a community-level intervention to promote HIV and Hepatitis
testing and prevention, and health-seeking behaviors;

3) Employ environmental strategies including a social marketing campaign to promote healthy behaviors and encourage students to access health services and prevention education;

4) Enhance the Screening, Brief Intervention
and Referral to Treatment model to include sexual health risks to improve identification of
students with substance use and sexual health risks;

5) Increase community capacity by training providers to integrate HIV, Hepatitis and substance use programming and;

6) Offer HIV and Hepatitis counseling and testing, and referrals to Hepatitis A and B vaccinations.

Primary Project Goals

1) Build infrastructure to better address substance use and high risk sexual behavior;

2) Increase access to substance use and HIV prevention and testing services;

3) Reduce risk related to substance use and HIV and;

4) Establish SAAF as a regional training and support center building local capacity in comprehensive evidence-based prevention approaches to substance use, HIV, and Hepatitis.

Number Served

SAAF’s proposed project will serve 1,230 individuals per year and a total of 6,150 through the 5-year funding period.

For more information, please contact:
Leslie Medeiros, Your Story Program Manager, at:


The HYPE (HIV Youth Peer Education) program is designed to support youth ages 13 – 24 in increasing their life skills and self-efficacy.  Youth engage in interactive discussions, debates, and facilitated lessons through which they gain knowledge about HIV/ AIDS and STIs (sexually transmitted infections).  Youth learn how to utilize protective factors to reduce harm around risk taking behaviors as well as they work on developing communication skills in order to talk to their peers about HIV/AIDS. Youth participants engage in experiential learning activities including role-plays, games, and mazes.  Youth also have the opportunity to participate in one off-site activity during which they work on team building through trust exercises as well as partnered and large group exercises.

For more information on HYPE, please contact:
Moureen Drury, Senior Health Education Specialist, at:
Paco Velez, Youth Programs Manager, at:

YLP FINAL LOGOYouth Life Project (YLP)

YLP is a multi-faceted sexual violence prevention program for youth ages 13-24 offering life skills education addressing dating and sexual violence, capacity building trainings for service providers, and community mobilization of local resources and service organizations to address systemic sexual violence prevention.

Life Skills Education: YLP offers classes for middle-school and high-school aged youth to increase awareness of sexual and dating violence and equip youth with the skills and resources to help themselves or friends prevent sexual and dating violence. Life Skills topics include: preventing dating abuse, overcoming gender stereotypes, healthy relationships, and how to help friends.

Capacity Building: Youth service providers can request capacity building workshops addressing sexual violence prevention with youth participants. Trainings are intended to increase knowledge among professionals and community members of risks and social factors that contribute to abusive dating relationships, its causes, and its consequences and protective factors that support healthy relationships.

Community Mobilization: A Sexual Violence Prevention Coalition, which will include community stakeholders, schools and social service providers, will be developed to increase community awareness of sexual violence and how it can be effectively prevented. Further, efforts to educate community members and businesses about organizations that offer resources providing sexual violence prevention and intervention will be disseminated through this coalition.

For more information, please contact:
Jai Smith, Youth Life Project Manager, at:


Project ALLY (Arizona’s Life Links for Youth) is a program focused on reducing the rate of attempted and completed suicides among Arizona’s youth, mainly focusing on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Questioning (LGBTQ) youth, 14 to 24 years of age in Pima and surrounding counties. ALLY is a collaborative project between SAAF and Wingspan.  Project ALLY is comprised of two components, Youth Leadership Development and Gatekeeper Training. Youth Leadership Development is taught using the Sources of Strength curriculum and additional activities and exercises. Gatekeeper training is available to any community member 18 and older and is taught using the QPR (Question, Persuade, and Refer) model of suicide prevention.

For more information, please contact:
ALLY Warm line: Monday through Friday 8:00am-7:00pm (520) 561-2367
Tatum Craft, Suicide Prevention Specialist, at (520)547-6146 or
Paco Velez, Youth Programs Manager, at:


The Aztec Proactive Prevention Program (APPP), a collaboration of the Pima Community
College District (Pima), Amistades, Inc., the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation and Behavioral Assessments, Inc., proposes to build prevention infrastructure in Pima County, AZ through Pima’s six campuses to prevent and reduce substance use, and decrease HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C transmission among Hispanic and minority students and young adults ages 18 – 24.

Strategies/Interventions: Pima proposes to employ five concurrent strategies:

1) Implement TIPS for the University, a peer-to-peer intervention to help college students reduce high-risk drinking behaviors;

2) Adapt and implement ¡Cuídate!, a group-level intervention to reduce HIV risk behaviors;

3) Raise awareness about substance use, HIV and HCV risk behaviors and promote testing through a social media campaign environmental strategy that incorporates pride in racial and ethnic identity and healthy behaviors;

4) Increase community capacity by offering Pima’s faculty, staff, and student leaders and providers from adjacent community organizations training in SAMHSA’s Strategic Prevention Framework and:

5) Provide Rapid HIV and Hepatitis Testing (RHHT) counseling, testing, and linkage to care.

Primary program goals:

1) To build and support college-based infrastructure to prevent and reduce substance abuse and transmission of HIV/AIDS among Hispanic and other minority young adults ages 18-24;

2) To implement culturally-competent, evidence-based intervention and environmental strategies to prevent and reduce substance abuse and transmission of HIV/AIDS among Hispanic and other minority young adults ages 18-24; and

3) To reduce risk behaviors related to substance use and HIV/HCV transmission by increasing access to testing among Hispanic and other racial and ethnic minority young adults ages 18 – 24.

The APPP will serve 200 participants annually, up to 600 people during the funding period and test 225 participants annually for HIV and/or HCV, up to 675 people during the funding period.


The Eon Youth Center is a youth-driven program that works to strengthen Tucson’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, two-spirit, queer, questioning, intersexed, and straight-ally youth communities by creating social opportunities, providing information and support on health issues, advocating for youth rights, and challenging society’s perceptions of youth as they face institutionalized oppressions that target the many facets of their identities. Eon provides a safe drop-in space for these youth, ages 13-23, and conducts outreach and education throughout the community.

For more information, please contact:
Jackson Wray, Eon Youth Specialist, at (520) 547-6103 or
Paco Velez, Youth Programs Manager, at:

Eon Monthly Activity Calendar

Eon Calendar April 2017

Eon Bulletin April 2017

Click on calendar/bulletin to make larger

News and Events

  • AIDSWALK Tucson Registration Now Open, June 28, 2017

    The 29th Annual AIDSWALK Tucson may still be 3 months away, but it is never too early to register and start fundraising! Join your friends and family (and your four-legged friends, too) for a walk to fight stigma and hate in our community. We’ll see you on October 15 for another amazing year of AIDSWALK […]

    Learn More
  • National HIV Testing Day is June 27, May 19, 2017

    HIV testing is the only way to know for sure if someone has HIV. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), of the more than 1.1 million people living with HIV/AIDS in the United States today, 1 in every 7 is not aware of their positive status. That means they aren’t getting the […]

    Learn More
  • 35th Annual AIDS Candlelight Memorial is Sunday May 21, May 2, 2017

    The 35th International AIDS Candlelight Memorial will be commemorated worldwide on Sunday May 21, 2017. This year’s local event will take place at the Historic Y, located at 300 East University Blvd, from 6:30-7:30pm.  This is a free event and open to the public. This year’s event will include a multi-faith blessing; performances; a moment […]

    Learn More
  • Stonewall Foundation to fund Endowment for SAAF’s Thornhill Lopez Center on 4th, April 14, 2017

    The Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation (SAAF) has been awarded funding from the locally-based Stonewall Foundation to support the Thornhill Lopez Center on 4th- A SAAF Place for Youth. This annual funding is in perpetuity and will help fund renovations at the Center in the initial year of funding while establishing and growing the Stonewall Foundation […]

    Learn More
  • SAAF Volunteer Appreciation Event is April 27, April 5, 2017

    SAAF will once again shine the spotlight on our wonderful volunteers at our annual Volunteer Appreciation event. This year’s event will take place during National Volunteer Week, on Thursday April 27, 2017; from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Historic Y. Dinner will be catered by Carte Blanche catering, served by SAAF employees followed by […]

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