The Southern AIDS Coalition (SAC) formed in 2001 as a response to the HIV/AIDS state of emergency in the Southern United States. Eight of the ten states with the highest rate of HIV infection are in the South, and nine of the ten states with the highest AIDS fatality rates. To address the dire need in the South, state HIV/AIDS/STD directors, community-based partners, and people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) in the Southern region banded together to advocate for change in the adequacy of funding, prevention, treatment, services, and housing provided in the South. After forming in 2001, the group worked collectively to assemble a number of case studies and released the first-ever Southern States Manifesto in 2002. These case studies were presented nationwide garnering much-needed attention from the media, policy-makers, and legislators.
Historically, the Southern AIDS Coalition worked to modernize the Ryan White Care Act to create more equitable funding for Southern states. After three years of meetings, press conferences, and congressional hearings, H.R. 6143 was passed in 2006. The reauthorization included many significant changes including modifying the distribution formula from cumulative AIDS data to actual living HIV and AIDS cases, redirecting an approximate $30 million to the U.S. South. Since this customessaywriter.co.uk victory, SAC’s advocacy efforts around equitable and increased HIV/AIDS funding have continued laying the groundwork for the more recent announcement of the Care and Prevention in the United States (CAPUS) funding in 2012. This new funding initiative, dedicated to reducing HIV and AIDS-related morbidity and mortality among racial and ethnic minorities living in the United States, was a result of the powerful, well-organized advocacy of SAC and our vital partners in the HIV-community including the Southern HIV/AIDS Strategy Initiative (SASI), the 30 for 30 Campaign, the President’s Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA), and many others.
SAC’s primary activities include the facilitation of community and state government collaboration, policy development, advocacy, and education. Please join SAC’s listserv to stay up-to-date on the latest policy agenda, advocacy events, and educational opportunities.