Birmingham, Alabama — Professor Carolyn McAllaster, long-time leader and founder of the Southern HIV/AIDS Strategy Initiative (SASI) recently announced her retirement from the Duke University School of Law. Since 2011, SASI has served in an informal role as command center for research and data that’s been used to spur efforts to reduce the spread of HIV in the Deep South and for eliminating HIV-related stigma.
“No individual has done more than Carolyn McAllaster to address the HIV epidemic in the South,” said Nic Carlisle, executive director, Southern AIDS Coalition. “Her work captured national attention, allowing us to change the narrative about the disproportionate impact of the epidemic on southern communities and secure millions in new resources for our people,” said Carlisle.
The announcement of Professor McAllaster’s retirement does not mean that the groundbreaking and necessary work ceases. It will continue to happen under the Southern AIDS Coalition’s banner. SAC is already working closely with SASI’s research team, led by Dr. Susan Reif, at Duke’s Center for Health Policy and Inequalities Research.
“I am honored that Professor McAllaster has turned to us to continue SASI’s groundbreaking research agenda. It is a huge responsibility, but also an opportunity to galvanize generations of HIV/AIDS advocates for years to come,” said Carlisle.
The research effort will be housed under Southern AIDS Coalition’s newly developed Advocacy Center. The SAC Advocacy Center will serve as a comprehensive database of health providers, resources and organizations who align around a commitment to eliminate new transmissions and build a better South for people living with or vulnerable to HIV in the South.
Professor McAllaster, who is now a board member for Southern AIDS Coalition, will continue in that role.
“I am elated to see SASI’s work continue under SAC’s leadership. It is really anyone’s best hope for the things they undertake — building something that continues beyond your leaders. Southern AIDS Coalition’s furtherance of this work achieves this for what was begun at SASI,” said Professor McAllaster.