Social Awareness Service Organisation (SASO)
SASO was formed in 1991 by a group of ex- injecting drug users seeking to lessen the impact of drug use and HIV in Manipur, northeast India. It envisions a society where the impact of drug use and HIV/AIDS are minimised and affected individuals and communities have access to health care and can enjoy their basic human rights.
SASO’s strategic areas of work with the Alliance are:
SASO was one of the first NGOs to take up home detoxification for drug users and focus on the specific vulnerabilities of female IDUs. In collaboration with multisectoral partners, SASO is responding to the issues of drug use and HIV/AIDS through a rights-based approach. It is working towards prevention, treatment, care and support of affected communities in northeast India to improve their quality of life.
Integration with Care & Support
As HIV infection has rapidly increased among the IDU community, HIV prevention and care & support for PLHIV has become a necessity. Since 2005, SASO has been implementing its harm reduction project and a providing comprehensive package of services to support IDUs and their partners. These interventions focus on addressing the economic, social and human impact of HIV in relation to drug use.
In 2006, SASO was a part of an Alliance India programme, supported by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), to address the growing feminisation of HIV across the country. SASO has also lead the development of programming addressing sexual and reproductive health (SRH) and HIV needs of female IDUs and the spouses/partners of male IDUs. The programme was the first of its kind in Manipur and was instrumental in highlighting the impact of injecting drug use on women.
Orphan and Vulnerable Children
The organisation is responding to the care & support needs of children affected by or living with HIV. SASO has been an implementing partner in the Global Fund-supported CHAHA programme, as well as the Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative’s work reducing the vulnerabilities of these children.