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

  • SAAF Stands with Transgender Community, October 25, 2018

    Press Release for Immediate Release October 25, 2018 Based on news reports over the weekend, the Trump administration is working to dramatically roll back protections for transgender students by narrowing the definitions of sex and gender under Title IX that our courts have used to provide protections for LGBTQ+ people. It is reported that the […]

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  • 30th AIDSWALK Touches the Hearts of Hundreds, October 23, 2018

    On the morning of Sunday, October 14th, 2018 hundreds of people gathered early in Downtown Tucson to show their support for the 30th Annual AIDSWALK Tucson. Everyone has a different reason for walking, some very personal while others walk due to a strong sense of community.  No matter the reason, the presence of approximately 500 […]

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  • Call for 2019 Out Brunch Community Award Nominations, August 23, 2018

    The Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation (SAAF) is proud to announce the community nomination period for the 2019 Out Brunch Community Awards. The Out Brunch Community Awards recognize and celebrate the work and dedication of three exceptional community members.  Nominations open August 23, 2018 and close September 21, 2018.  The awards will be given at the […]

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