Our Impact Why We Exist
We are committed to providing health promotion, care and support for self-identifying South Asians living with, at risk of, or affected by HIV/AIDS.
Our vision is a world where South Asian communities have the access and means to determine their health and well-being.
Our Story What We Do
ASAAP was born out of community activism when in 1989, a South Asian couple died unable to access AIDS services in their own language and cultural context. Khush, a group of South Asian queer activists came together and with support from ACT (AIDS Committee of Toronto) formed the South Asian AIDS Coalition.
Initially run by volunteers working out of a makeshift workspace in a garage, to being housed at ACT, the South Asian AIDS Coalition became the Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention in 1995 after being incorporated as an independent AIDS Service Organization.
Today, the need for multi-lingual HIV/AIDS related services is just as important as it was over 25 years ago. And the importance of situating HIV within a culturally appropriate framework is vital for prevention education and support services to have a meaningful impact. Our programs are culturally relevant, innovative and aim to create an informed and caring community.
Our Programs How We Do It
Our programs focus on fostering a community of care around HIV and AIDS.
- We care that people living with HIV live in fear that their status will be known
- We care that youth are at risk of HIV
- We care that women are forced into sex
- We care that our clients can’t access employment, housing and/or healthy food
- We care that LGBTQ South Asians are not accepted
Toronto's Vital Signs® Report
According to data found on page 22 and 118 of Toronto’s Vital Signs Report 2013, South Asians are not only the largest visible minority population in Toronto, but also the fastest growing ethnic community. The stigma in many South Asian communities around sexuality and HIV/AIDS means organizations like ASAAP are more essential than ever. ASAAP fills a fundamental role in Toronto and the GTA, fulfilling a specific (and unique-in-Canada) mandate to not only promote healthy sexuality in South Asian communities, but also provide culturally appropriate services to South Asians living with or affected by HIV/AIDS.
Our programs aim to reduce the risk of HIV among our communities through education, outreach and health promotion. We run prevention programs for newcomer and settled South Asian women, youth and men who have sex with men.
Brownkiss is a sexual health and HIV prevention program catering to South Asian women and newcomers.
Dosti is a social and support group for South Asian men who like men.
Snehithan is a social and support group for Tamil men who like men.
Lassi is a social and support group for young (16-29) South Asian guys who like guys.
“The group (ASAAP’s client support group) has given me strength, hope, support and a place where I belong”
We recognize that access to HIV information and services are sometimes framed by cultural context. HIV/AIDS is still highly stigmatized in our families & communities and we take our clients’ right to privacy very seriously. Our prevention programs aim to reduce the risk of HIV among our communities
Connecting to Care is a support program for both women and men that aims to create a space where South Asians living and aging with HIV can connect with one another, access services, inform resources and optimize their health.
ELAN is a program fostering health and wellness among self-identified South Asian Women living with HIV/AIDS.
More Than Fiction is a collection of stories written by South Asian women living with HIV.
We are committed to addressing the diverse needs of our communities by running special projects to create an enabling environment for sexual health development.
Tease Project is an exciting new program piloting an arts‐based engagement model with South Asian youth on sexual health, HIV/AIDS and leadership using popular education techniques.
Between The Lines is a small community library with big dreams.
All of our programs offer:
- Workshops on HIV/AIDS, Healthy Relationships, Anti-Homophobia and Equity
- Health Forums for Communities and Service Providers
- Multilingual Sexual Health Resources
- Referrals to HIV Testing Services (Confidential and Anonymous)
- Outreach at Community Spaces
- Peer Support Groups & Resources for Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer & Questioning Men
- Free Condoms and Lube
What You Can Do
Your support can go a long way with us! If you are considering donating to the cause, supporting us means supporting:
- South Asians living with HIV with emergency financial assistance
- Women’s health education
- Youth education and risk reduction
- Queer community building and support
- Campaigns that address stigma and allow people to live safer, healthier lives
For more info on donating, click here.
Our volunteers come from diverse backgrounds, speak different languages and bring a range of expertise, knowledge and lived experience. We focus on connecting our volunteers with their areas of interest in what we do. For more info on volunteering, click here.