The AIDS Support Organization (TASO) was founded in 1987 by Noerine Kaleeba and a group of friends and colleagues some of whom were infected by HIV. The founders met informally in each other's homes or offices to provide mutual psychological and social support. Cohesion among these was strengthened by the fact that they were either directly infected with HIV or implicitly affected because their very close familial associates were infected. One distinguished feature about the founder members was that they voluntarily used their time and other resources to visit AIDS patients, carrying them to the hospital and some times providing basic material and counseling support.
Today TASO is one of the largest indigenous Non Governmental Organization providing HIV/AIDS services in Uganda and Africa. It cares for over 100,000 people annually through HIV counseling, medical care as well as social support.
Cumulatively, TASO has registered over 200,000 clients since inception in 1987 and has cumulatively enrolled over 40,000 clients on Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) since 2004 when the programme was introduced. About 1,000 of those enrolled on ART are child clients.
TASO also supports over 5,000 Orphans and vulnerable children both in school and out of school.
Through the TASO Training Center and its four Regional Offices, TASO has built the capacity of about 3,000 health community workers. The organization has eleven (11) service centers spread in Uganda each operating within a catchment area of 75Km from its location. It also has four (4) Regional Offices.
In January 2008, TASO started on a new Strategic Plan (2008 - 2012) that among other things seeks to re-invigorate HIV prevention Strategies with in its catchment area through enhanced partnerships.
'A world Without HIV'
TASO exists to contribute to a process of preventing HIV infection, restoring hope and improving the quality of life of persons, families and communities affected by HIV infection and disease.
At Personal Level: One-to-one counseling, which empowers the infected/affected person to make informed decisions, which improve the quality of life and facilitate the balance between Rights and Responsibilities. TASO also provides sensitive and compassionate care which provides early diagnosis and treatment of opportunistic infections and enhances living positively and dying with dignity.
At Family Level: Counseling for the family members, which dispels their fears of contracting HIV through casual contact, facilitates care of the infected and affected persons and prepares the family for and supports them during bereavement. This also includes facilitation of provision of home nursing care and nutritional materials.
At Community Level: Community counseling which empowers the community to organize an appropriate response to the problems generated by HIV. Facilitation of community planned responses, community evaluation of their responses and mobilization of community resources.
At National and International Level: Sensitization of the public about "Positive Living". Training of appropriate personnel for service delivery. Mobilization of resources for achievement of goals. Join International efforts and fora for the total defeat of HIV infection and disease.