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

  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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