Birmingham AIDS Outreach (BAO)

The Birmingham AIDS Outreach’s (BAO) Aiding Alabama Legal Program protects and promotes the rights of people living with HIV in Alabama. Aiding Alabama provides pro-bono legal services, representation, advocacy, and education across a wide spectrum of areas of law practice to people living with and at risk for HIV in Alabama. The majority of Aiding Alabama clients reside in Jefferson County, but services are offered to all 67 counties, and all services are provided free of cost. Additionally, Aiding Alabama offers trainings on HIV and the law to members of the legal community, HIV service providers, consumer advocacy and consumer information groups, to law enforcement officers, and to professionals who work with at-risk youth.

The BAO legal program has advocated for over 100 Alabamians living with HIV over the last year, fielding over 300 distinct requests for legal services. The BAO legal program successfully has represented and advocated for the rights people living with HIV in cases before local, state, and federal agencies; numerous municipal courts, district courts, circuit courts, and other legal systems; and helped protect and promote social justice through high-impact legal representation. Additionally, the BAO legal program conducted the first LGBTQ Wills Clinic in Alabama history during the summer of 2015 in Birmingham, providing over 50 members of the LGBTQ community with free comprehensive estate/future planning.

Key Activities

  • Provide pro-bono legal services to people living with or impacted by HIV across a wide spectrum of areas of law practice
  • Conduct trainings on “HIV and the Laws in Alabama” for many unique audiences across Alabama including: consumers living with and high at-risk for HIV; law enforcement; social workers, nurses, physicians, and HIV service providers; licensed attorneys, paralegals, and judges; law students; staff of governmental agencies; and the staff of prospective community partners such as nonprofits serving low-income Alabamians.
  • Host  an estate planning  and legal name change clinics.
  • Advocate for needle/syringe exchange programs in Alabama through the building of a coalition in pursuit of incremental legislative changes needed to legally operate needle exchange programs.
  • Educate BAO clients on voting rights and assist them in registering to vote.
  • Statewide advocacy, outreach, and education on the impact of HIV/AIDS in Alabama