About Us

SIAAP is a Chennai based non-profit development organization, set up in 1989, with a commitment to improve the lives of marginalized people and deprived youth, across South India. Informed by three decades of experience and deep local knowledge in HIV/AIDS related issues, our work across the region addresses five overarching goals—strengthen people, empower women, expand economic opportunity through capacity building, increase environmental resilience, and promote rights based health and welfare.

We Believe

That sexuality is a fundamental part of who we are and our rights to well being includes the right to sexual and reproductive well being irrespective of gender, sexual orientation and behaviour.
That community led initiatives are relevant, effective and sustainable and have to be fostered to complement NGO and government efforts.
That sexuality, Gender and Human Rights should be integrated into all “development’ initiatives.

Our Fundamental Values

Respect, trust, freedom, choice, equitability, impact, transparency, and accountability. Thus, our staff includes men, women, MSM, transgenders, and people who identify as gender fluid, are drawn from different faiths, and from rural and urban communities. Although staff qualifications range from 10th class pass to PhDs, the wage difference cannot be greater than three times the minimum.


US in Numbers

15 Million


Over 35


Over 40


Over 70 Cr



Ms. Shyamala NatarajChairperson
Ms. Geetha RamaseshanAdvocate
High Court Chambers, High Court Buildings, Chennai
Dr. RangarajanGeneral Consultant Psychiatrist
Malar Heart Foundation, Malar Hospital, Chennai
Mr. KS NarayananRetd. Faculty
International Business Management
Ms. SudhaTrustee
Social Activist



The South India AIDS Action Programme (SIAAP) started on its course in the year 1990 with three intrepid and able women – a journalist, Shyamala Nataraj, and feminist lawyers (late) Bhagirathi Narayanan and Geeta Ramaseshan, who promulgated an advocacy intervention that resulted in winning a case against the illegal detention of over 900 women testing positive for HIV in Tamil Nadu.

Having been picked up under the Immoral Traffic Prevention Act (ITPA), and found to have tested positive for HIV, these women were remanded to indefinite confinement. The trio challenged this detention as illegal, unscientific, and gender biased.  In November 1990, the Madras High Court ordered the release of the women, stating that no individual could be held on grounds of being HIV infected. The women were released and a national policy set to uphold freedom of those living with HIV.

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