For Immediate Release
SOUTHERN US (September 20, 2023) – Southern AIDS Coalition (SAC) is thrilled to announce the appointment of Executive Director Dafina Ward to the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA). Dafina was sworn in today at the 78th PACHA full council meeting being held at the University of West Virginia.
Reflecting on her appointment, Dafina stated, “I am so honored to serve on the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS. This is a historic opportunity to support the Administration in its efforts to make significant strides towards ending the HIV epidemic. Ending the epidemic nationally is only possible if the disproportionate impact of HIV on southern communities is addressed. I look forward to hearing from our communities, examining the root causes of HIV-related disparities, and working together to provide guidance. I am very proud of this appointment–particularly for the chance to advocate for southerners living with and impacted by HIV.”
According to AIDSVu, in 2021 the South represents more than half (52%) of all new HIV diagnoses in the U.S. yet comprised of only 38% of the U.S. population. In the South, Social Determinants of Health such as racism, poverty, education, lack of insurance, and unemployment negatively impact HIV-related health outcomes for people living in the South.
Founded in 1995, the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) provides advice, information, and recommendations to the Secretary of Health & Human Services regarding programs, policies, and research to promote effective treatment, prevention, and cure of HIV disease and AIDS, including considering common co-morbidities as needed to promote effective HIV diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and quality services.
About Southern AIDS Coalition: Southern AIDS Coalition (SAC) is a non-partisan coalition of government, community, and business leaders working alongside thousands of people living with HIV and our allies to end the HIV epidemic in the South. We do this through public health advocacy; capacity building assistance; PLHIV leadership development; research and evaluation; and strategic grantmaking. To learn more or to join us, visit www.southernaidscoalition.org.