The AIDS Support Organization (TASO) Care and Support
The AIDS Support Organization (TASO) was founded in 1987 by Noerine Kaleeba and 15 other colleagues, some of whom have now passed away due to AIDS. The founding of TASO was based on people that were unified by common experiences faced when encountering HIV/AIDS at a time of high stigma, ignorance and discrimination. The founders met informally in each other's homes or offices to provide mutual psychological and social support. Today TASO is the largest indigenous NGO providing HIV/AIDS services in Uganda and Africa, having supported over 200,000 directly since its inception. The organization has 11 service centers spread in Uganda, with now 22 "mini-TASOs" and Community-based organizations in other parts of the country that are outside TASO's catchment area of 75Km from the nearest service center. A mini-TASO is a public Health unit that provides TASO-like services. TASO has given over 23,000 clients ARVs including 1000 children since Antiretroviral Therapy was rolled out in June 2004.
- Making an early diagnosis and management of opportunistic infection to reduce morbidity and mortality
- To provide counseling and health education to clients and their family members
- To enhance health workers' competence in management of HIV infection
- To utilize new medical strategies and interventions, treatments, both traditional (herbal) and modern, in the management of HIV/AIDS
- To conduct research that will add to the body of knowledge in effective management of HIV/AIDS
- 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.
- Sensitive and compassionate care which provides early diagnosis and treatment of opportunistic infections and enhances living positively and dying with dignity.
- 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.
- Facilitation of provision of home nursing care and nutritional materials.
- 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.
- TASO has developed a comprehensive Standard Operating Procedure Manual (2007) that guides the organizations program activities. This Manual could serve as a model for other programs which provide clinic and community based treatment, care and support services for people living with HIV.
- Private agencies can partner with public health institutions to build their capacity for expanded, integrated and sustainable provision of services to systematically un/under served populations.