SAAF’s History

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 Welcomes Dr. Ravi Grivois-Shah as its New Chief Executive Officer, September 30, 2020

    The Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation, excitedly, welcomes Dr. Ravi Grivois-Shah as its new Chief Executive Officer. He is scheduled to begin his new role as CEO on Monday, September 28, 2020. Dr. Ravi comes to SAAF after serving as Medical Director of Alvernon Family Medicine and the UA Mobile Health Program, which provides free medical […]

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  • SAAF’s Next CEO, June 25, 2020

    The SAAF Board of Directors is pleased to share with you that Dr. Ravi Grivois-Shah has been selected and hired to be the next Chief Executive Officer for SAAF.

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  • Save Lives By Supporting Virtual AIDSWALK Tucson 2020, October 2, 2020

    By Rachel McMenamin, Grants Coordinator at the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation As most things look different during this pandemic, so will the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation’s annual AIDSWALK Tucson. For the safety of walkers, volunteers, clients, staff and our community, this year’s AIDSWALK has gone virtual. SAAF will host a week long AIDSWALK celebration from […]

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  • SAAF WINS BBB Torch Award in Nonprofit Ethics, May 14, 2019

    We are honored to be the recipient of the BBB Serving Southern Arizona’s Torch Award for Nonprofit Ethics! As a nonprofit and more specifically as an AIDS service organization and an LGBTQ+ serving organization, we hold ourselves accountable to our stakeholders: our clients, our donors, the taxpayers, our staff and volunteers, our community partners, our funders, and […]

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  • Share the Love with SAAF’s Home-Bound Clients, December 26, 2018

    Did you know that 92% of SAAF’s Food Program participants have extremely low and very low incomes and rely on our programs not just to avoid hunger, but to receive appropriate, nutrient-dense foods necessary to maintain their health and prevent HIV disease symptoms and medication side effects? Individuals living with HIV and their families face […]

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