ASAAP was born out of community activism in 1989, when a South Asian couple died unable to access HIV related services in their own language and cultural context. Khush, a group of South Asian queer activists came together and with support from ACT (Formerly the 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 HIV-related Service Organization.
Today, the need for multi-lingual HIV/AIDS-related services is just as important as it was over 33 years ago; the necessity of situating HIV within a culturally appropriate framework is vital for prevention education and support services to have a meaningful impact.
ASAAP`s work is focused on areas that many individuals from South Asian, Middle Eastern, and Indo-Caribbean cultures find uncomfortable facing, such as sexuality, sexual health and homophobia. The shame and guilt associated with conversations on sexual health impede access to information and fuel our work even today.