About AIDS Alabama

Meet Our CEO

Kathie Hiers



Kathie M. Hiers is the Chief Executive Officer of AIDS Alabama, a nonprofit organization in Alabama that provides housing and supportive services to low-income persons with HIV/AIDS as well as education, outreach, and testing.  AIDS Alabama has subcontracts with the other eight AIDS Service Organizations and several clinics in Alabama to provide services to all 67 counties. Kathie has been with AIDS Alabama since January 2001. Prior to that, she was the Executive Director of Mobile AIDS Support Services and a founder of the Lee Simmons Fund for People Living with AIDS in Mobile, Alabama. AIDS Alabama has recently acquired the AIDS Service Organization in Mobile, which is now called AIDS Alabama South.

Kathie has served locally as Co-Chair of the local Ryan White Consortium, as well as a two-year term as President of the Metropolitan Birmingham Services for the Homeless, Birmingham’s local Continuum of Care for homeless services. Kathie is a member of the Governor of Alabama’s HIV Task Force, the Alabama HIV/AIDS Policy Partnership, United Way of Central Alabama Council of Executive Directors, and the AIDS Service Organization Network of Alabama. Kathie leads the HIV advocacy efforts for the State of Alabama, educating legislators on the state’s HIV/AIDS policy issues, promoting legislative investment in the HIV/AIDS portfolio, and implementing an annual Awareness Day in the state’s Capitol in which hundreds of HIV-positive persons, advocates, and policy makers gather to highlight the extreme need for resources to fight the HIV epidemic in Alabama.  Additionally, AIDS Alabama sponsors a Teen Advocacy Day in Montgomery. Each year Kathie provides a workshop for the University of Alabama at Birmingham Sparkman Program for visiting physicians from across the globe to orient them on the HIV epidemic in the southern United States. Kathie has been called upon for guidance on the development of state advocacy networks in the District of Columbia, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

Nationally, Kathie was the only southerner selected in 2010 by President Obama to serve on the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, where she was Co-Chair of the Disparities Committee. She served as Co-Chair for the Southern AIDS Coalition from 2004 through early 2009 and currently serves as their policy chair. Kathie is the current President of the board for the National AIDS Housing Coalition and serves as an elected member and Co-Chair of the Federal AIDS Policy Partnership. Kathie often serves as the regional coordinator for AIDSWatch in Washington, D.C., the nation’s largest gathering of HIV-positive citizens and AIDS advocates, and she provides training to the AIDSWatch group on federal funding and policy issues for HIV care and housing. Kathie represented Alabama’s nine Title III clinics in the Communities Advocating for Emergency AIDS Relief (CAEAR) Coalition from 2000 through 2003.

Several national periodicals, including HIV Plus, Poz, The Washington Blade, The Houston Blade, Positive Populations, Mother Jones, the Progressive, Marie Claire, Congressional Quarterly, and Southern Voice, have published interviews with Kathie. Her work in Alabama has been covered in Jacob Levenson’s book, The Secret Epidemic: The Story of AIDS and Black America.  Kathie’s efforts on the Ryan White Reauthorization have also been highlighted in Andrew Skerritt’s Ashamed to Die. Kathie co-authored the housing portions of the Southern States Manifesto, which addressed the emerging HIV/AIDS crisis in the southern portion of the United States in 2003; she also co-authored the Southern States Manifesto: Update 2008, which was featured as the headline story on MSNBC in July 2008, as well as in media across the country.  Kathie is currently featured in a documentary, deepsouth, which highlights her work for HIV-positive persons in the southern U. S. Kathie was also showcased in a story on the HIV crisis in the South on the Dan Rather Reports: It’s a Southern Thing in July 2012.

Kathie is frequently called upon to speak on AIDS housing, advocacy, and service issues. She is a recognized subject matter expert on Ryan White. She has been a featured speaker for many press conferences, webcasts, and Congressional Briefings on the National AIDS Strategy, Ryan White Act, Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS, and on health disparities, particularly those experienced in the South. Kathie has been a keynote speaker or presented workshops at the U. S. Conference on AIDS, the National HV Prevention Conference, HUD National Grantees Meeting, National Conference to End Homelessness, National ADAP Educational Conference, which she co-chaired in 2005, National Association of People with AIDS Staying Alive, AIDS in America conferences, Physicians for Human Rights conference, and Association of Nurses in AIDS Care.

In 2014, Kathie received the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) Individual Champion of the year. In September, she received the Research and Hope “HIV/AIDS Community Champion” Award from PhRMA.

Kathie is a graduate of the University of South Alabama with a BA in English.