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This profile was last updated on 8/9/15  and contains information from public web pages and contributions from the ZoomInfo community.

Dr. Bambi W. Gaddist

Wrong Dr. Bambi W. Gaddist?

Executive Director

Phone: (803) ***-****  HQ Phone
Email: d***@***.org
South Carolina HIV/AIDS Council
1115 Calhoun Street
Columbia , South Carolina 29201
United States

Company Description: The South Carolina HIV/AIDS Council (SCHAC) is an organization dedicated to developing strategies to reduce the rate of HIV/AIDS and improve the quality of life of...   more

Employment History

Board Memberships and Affiliations


  • PhD
  • Bachelor of Science , area of Physical Education and Health
    Tuskegee University
  • University of South Carolina
159 Total References
Web References
Southern AIDS Coalition | Who's Who - Southern AIDS Coalition, 9 Aug 2015 [cached]
Bambi W. Gaddist, DrPH S.C. HIV/AIDS Care Crisis Task Force P.O. Box 1489 Columbia, SC 29202 E-mail me
Dr. Bambi ..., 13 Nov 2013 [cached]
Dr. Bambi Gaddist
Bambi Gaddist, PhD, executive director of the South Carolina HIV/AIDS Council, is one of them.
The label fits, and not just because she was named a 2008 CNN Hero. I quickly learned why. For example, her agency has the only mobile outreach van in the state. "Still have the van," she tells me over the phone. "As a matter of fact, we're out today, in a rural community, in three rural counties that have little or no access to testing."
A native of Vineland, New Jersey, Dr. Gaddist attended Tuskegee University, and, after that, Indiana State University, where she studied reproductive health. Then, in the seventies, she spent a lot of time at the Kinsey Institute. She majored in physical education and health, but she has always pursued adolescent pregnancies, the topic of her dissertation.
"Then I got sucked into HIV," she adds. "I met this hairdresser, Diana, who was doing this [kind of] work in her beauty shop. I was a doctoral student. We worked together for fifteen years. Gaddist bases the HIV/AIDS work she does today on the work she engaged in back in the eighties, at the beginning of the epidemic.
She is known as "the AIDS Lady. When I mention it to her, she laughs and mentions that little children call her "Miss Bambi. Her story is one of AIDS advocacy as an intrinsic part of the bigger story of AIDS seen through a Southern lens.
Dr. Gaddist sits on the board of the Southern AIDS Coalition. A manifestation of SAC's body of work is the Southern AIDS Living Quilt. The idea of the Quilt was to address and eliminate AIDS stigma, and bring attention to the Southern epidemic through video testimonials of men and women living with the virus, and also of activists (like Gaddist) and health professionals fighting the epidemic. The Southern AIDS Living Quilt celebrates living with the virus. Its message is: know your status; get tested; and make HIV testing an integral part of the annual medical exam.
Gaddist still believes in the Quilt's message. She also believes that education is imperative. She stays informed and, in turn, informs her staff, about the latest legislative rules and the Affordable Care Act, and how they will impact her work as an activist, and how they are going to impact AIDS in the South.
There are a variety of issues that define AIDS in the South. A lack of interest and/or knowledge to treat HIV/AIDS, related stigma, (lack of) AIDS education and prevention, anonymity, poverty, and the reaction of Southern states to the new healthcare law are only a few of them.
The majority of Southern states are defined as "default," meaning they will not accept any medical expenditure money. "Like my state, they have no intention of taking that money," Dr. Gaddist reiterates.
"My statement to them is 'you should call me,'" Gaddist says. The reality is that there are few places individuals diagnosed with HIV can go to in the South. They are forced to travel to a large city where they can find physicians specialized in treating HIV/AIDS and where they cannot be recognized.
A study done by Janssen Pharmaceuticals found that African-American physicians report feeling uncomfortable talking about the HIV test with their patients. "What was so profound to me," Gaddist comments, "was that, despite the whole pandemic of AIDS, particularly among young men eighteen to twenty-four, black physicians report feeling uncomfortable asking about the test. Many of them don't even offer it…. t's mind-boggling to me." She further explains that professional women, in particular, are the most difficult to approach, "because then we get into a conversation of classism," she says, "and the medical provider fears that if he insults you, you won't return."
Gaddist recalls a conversation she had with a teacher who showed up in her office, asking for an HIV test, because she had discovered that her husband of thirty years was having an affair with another man. The HIV test came back negative, yet the experience prompted the teacher to reexamine her attitude and beliefs around her false sense of security.
Dr. Gaddist presented at a recent Affordable Care Act Community Forum held at Trinity Baptist Church and hosted by Pastor Thurmond Bowens, Jr., MUIC (Men United In Christ), and the Trinity Baptist HIV/AIDS Care Team Ministry. Photo by Lamont Adams.
Dr. Gaddist presented at a recent Affordable Care Act Community Forum held at Trinity Baptist Church and hosted by Pastor Thurmond Bowens, Jr., MUIC (Men United In Christ), and the Trinity Baptist HIV/AIDS Care Team Ministry.
"Most black women will never get married," Gaddist says, mentioning that she's been married for most of her adult life. "Look in the Sunday newspaper," she adds.
Gaddist explains that slaves were not permitted to maintain family structures.
Despite the seemingly insurmountable obstacles often placed in her way, Gaddist seems to never get tired. Despite working in the most stressful of times, her passion and determination never dwindle. How does she do it?
"I believe in God," she simply answers. "I believe He places us where He wants us to be. There are times when you don't have anybody else but God [to depend on.]" She also believes that "until it's time for you to leave, you'll always be brought back to that same place. It's like Groundhog Day. That's how it's been for me. The good part is that I'm always grateful that I got put back."
For people like Dr. Gaddist the biggest challenge is not to keep working, but what to do after giving up the reins to someone else. "Personally I look forward to turning this organization over to someone, and hope it survives," she says. "That would be the true test of what I sought to achieve, that the work will continue. If it doesn't continue there's something I didn't do or something I should have done better."
Yet, she doesn't want to leave the impression that there has been no progress in fighting AIDS, in particular, in the South, because, despite all the challenges, progress has been made.
"Not as quickly as we would like," Gaddist says, "but I don't know any social change that's ever occurred without years of struggle.
For more information on Dr. Bambi Gaddist, log on to: Link to South Carolina HIV Council here:
The specific roadmap won't be laid ..., 6 July 2011 [cached]
The specific roadmap won't be laid out until after the report is released, but Bambi Gaddist, chairwoman of the South Carolina HIV/AIDS Care Crisis Task Force, said she hopes the Harvard University-sponsored report will make the call for aid even louder.
"About 48 percent of new HIV cases are in the South, but the level of funding doesn't help to fight that," she said. "What, if any, dollars the state has appropriated for HIV research are considered expendable."
The $10 million appropriation request would amount to a drop in the ocean, but Gaddist said it would cost the state far less than it would to ignore the growth of infections.
Gaddist said many people ignore the needs of HIV/AIDS patients because they feel as if it's something that doesn't affect them, and in addition, HIV/AIDS is unfairly maligned as a disease that affects only homosexuals.
Gaddist said she's a realist and knows the state of care for infected South Carolinians won't change overnight, but for a state that's shown little to no concern for individuals with HIV and AIDS, now is the time to change.
by Dr. Bambi W. Gaddist, ..., 8 Aug 2015 [cached]
by Dr. Bambi W. Gaddist, South Carolina HIV/AIDS Council
About | Southern Aids Coalition, 22 Jan 2014 [cached]
Bambi W. Gaddist, DrPH S.C. HIV/AIDS Care Crisis Task Force P.O. Box 1489 Columbia, SC 29202 803-254-6644 office E-mail me
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