Travis Wright’s Legacy Means
Better Health for Everyone

Travis Wright founder of SAAF’s Buyer’s Club (photo courtesy of Robert Markley)
Travis Wright founder of SAAF’s Buyer’s Club (photo courtesy of Robert Markley)

What most characterized activists and volunteers in the early years of the AIDS epidemic was their strong desire to help people stay healthy and stay alive. Travis Wright exemplified this spirit. Before the introduction of the more effective antiretrovirals we have today, the medications available at the time caused terrible side effects.

Travis Wright conducted research into alternative remedies and nutritional supplements that would bolster the immune system of people living with HIV and help address the numerous side effects. He started the Buyers’ Club at PACT for Life (People with AIDS Coalition of Tucson), one of SAAF’s predecessor agencies, and ran the program for many years. When Travis died in November of 1994, PACT changed the name to the Travis Wright Memorial Buyers’ Club in honor of his service to the community.

Until December 2010, the Buyers’ Club was located in SAAF’s offices. The hours were limited and the program was just breaking even. All of that would change when Deb Van Sant and Greg Rogan, long-time donors and supporters of SAAF, proposed a forward-thinking business plan that included the Travis Wright Memorial Buyers’ Club as part of their new pharmacy.

From December of 2010 to July of 2016, Deb Van Sant and Greg Rogan generously donated 250 square feet of floor space in their Cactus Drug Pharmacy (formerly The Medicine Shoppe) which effectively doubled the size of the Buyers’ Club and expanded the hours to be opened from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. five days a week. Sadly, Cactus Drug closed their pharmacy doors and the Buyers’ Club is now located in the SAAF main offices at 375 S. Euclid Avenue in Tucson.

The Buyers’ Club is part of SAAF’s Complementary Therapies Program which provides access to alternative health care services such as naturopathy, acupuncture and chiropractic care as well as providing nutritional supplements to help people living with HIV/AIDS better manage their symptoms and HIV medication side effects.

With the generous support of many selfless volunteers, Cactus Drug Pharmacy, and SAAF’s Care Services division, Travis Wright’s legacy continues on today.