Who We Are


Our mission is to end the HIV epidemic in the South through public health advocacy, capacity building and education, grassroots organizing, and research and evaluation.

The Southern AIDS Coalition (SAC) is a non-partisan coalition of government, community, and business partners working alongside thousands of individual members to prevent new infections and build a better South for people living with HIV. For more than fifteen years, the coalition has promoted accessible and high-quality systems of HIV prevention and care across sixteen southern states and the District of Columbia.


The Southern AIDS Coalition (SAC) formed in 2001 as a response to the HIV/AIDS state of emergency in the Southern United States.

To address the dire need in the South, state health department leaders, community-based partners, and people living with HIV (PLHIV) 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, policymakers, and legislators.

Historically, SAC 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 South.

Since this victory, SAC’s advocacy efforts around equitable and increased 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.


We envision a better South for people living with HIV, one where every person has access to high-quality health care and essential support services (including safe, decent, affordable housing), free from stigma and discrimination. We also envision a South where every person understands their risk for HIV transmission, receives routine screening, and has access to a full range of prevention interventions and harm reduction services.



Khafre K. Abif
Community Organizer
Gina Brown, RSW
Community Organizer
Nic Carlisle, JD
Executive Director


Claude Martin – Chair

Acadiana C.A.R.E.S.

Lafayette, LA

Shanell L. McGoy, PhD, MPH – Vice Chair

Tennessee Department of Health

Nashville, TN

Robin Lewy, MA – Secretary

Rural Women’s Health Project

Gainesville, FL

Jay Adams – Treasurer

Ryan White Part B Program

Wheeling, WV

Kathie Hiers

AIDS Alabama

Birmingham, AL

Alnory Regondola Gutlay

Center for Pan Asian Community Services

Atlanta, GA

Cathalene Teahan

Georgia AIDS Coalition

Snellville, GA

DeAnn Gruber, PhD, LCSW

Louisiana Office of Public Health HIV/AIDS Program

New Orleans, LA

Noel Twilbeck


New Orleans, LA

Linda Rigsby, JD

Mississippi Center for Justice

Jackson, MS

Robin Webb

Mississippi Positive Network

Cleveland, MS

Kelly Young

AIDS Foundation Houston

Houston, TX

Carolyn McAllaster

Southern HIV/AIDS Strategy Initiative

Durham, NC

Erik Valera

Latinos in the Deep South

Chapel Hill, NC

Gwen Bampfield, MSW, JD

ACCESS Network

Ridgeland, SC

Bambi W. Gaddist, DrPH

South Carolina HIV/AIDS Council

Columbia, SC

Johanna Haynes, LISW AP/CP

Careteam, Inc.

Myrtle Beach, SC

Joseph Interrante

Nashville CARES

Nashville, TN

Shelley Lucas, MPH

Texas Department of State Health Services

Austin, TX

Ernest Walker

Us Helping Us, Inc

Washington D.C.

Mary Elizabeth Marr

Thrive Alabama

Huntsville, AL

Sean Oslin

Heartland Cares

Paducah, KY