Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is:

What is HIV?

To answer the question what is HIV AIDS, we have to start early in the epidemic. In 1985, scientists discovered the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and with it the question what is aids was answered. HIV is a virus that is transmitted from person to person through the exchange of body fluids such as blood, semen, breast milk and vaginal secretions. Sexual contact is the most common way to spread HIV AIDS, but it can also be transmitted by sharing needles when injecting drugs, or during childbirth and breastfeeding. As HIV AIDS reproduces, it damages the body’s immune system and the body becomes susceptible to illness and infection. There is no known cure for HIV infection.

What is AIDS?

Acquired immune deficiency syndrome, or AIDS, is a condition that describes an advanced state of HIV infection. With AIDS, the virus has progressed, causing significant loss of white blood cells (CD4 cells) or any of the cancers or infections that result from immune system damage. Those illnesses and infections are said to be “AIDS-defining” because they mark the onset of AIDS. Like HIV, there is no known cure for AIDS.

HIV/AIDS – More Than Just a Disease

Soon after the emergence of the AIDS epidemic, it became evident that HIV was much more than just a disease. Unlike any other disease, HIV not only touches the lives of those infected, but it also impacts the lives of virtually everyone on earth. One would be hard pressed to find any group not affected by the HIV epidemic in some way. Simply put, it is clearly one of the most important public health issues.

News and Events

  • AZ Gives Day is Tuesday April 4, March 24, 2017

    The 5th annual Arizona Gives Day is Tuesday April 4 and we hope that you will consider giving to SAAF on that day. We have arranged match gifts totaling $3,000 but we need your help to make sure that we reach each match (see below for a listing of match donors). Plus, if SAAF is […]

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  • Why a Will workshop is March 24, March 11, 2017

    Did you know…Nearly half of all adult Americans do not currently have a will? If you do not have a will at the time of death, the State will make determinations about how your estate is divided up. In Arizona, if you are part of an unmarried, same-sex couple, your surviving partner will receive nothing […]

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  • SAAF Stands with Transgender Students & Calls on Trump Administration to Protect All Students, February 23, 2017

    Yesterday, the Trump Administration reversed a sound policy protecting the rights of transgender students. The Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation (SAAF) calls on President Trump, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions to ensure all students have access to bathrooms that correspond to their gender identity and gender expression. The change to government […]

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