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The South is particularly stricken by the HIV epidemic.
Half of all new HIV infections in the United States occur in the South, although the region has only a little more than a third of the country’s population.
If they are diagnosed with AIDS, that number jumps to 27 percent (or 33 percent in Louisiana). So why is it that in a country like United States — where one Ebola infection makes national headlines — there are still places where the rates of HIV infection rival those of the hardest-hit places in Africa?
Why are black people dying of a virus that can be managed? To be fair, HIV is not confined to this region, and other regions and cities have their own battles in the fight against the virus.
Many are forced to either stay in the closet or flee the church due to its negative preaching.
Third, mental health issues like depression and feelings of isolation create invisible barriers that keep these men out of the reach of health care.
Shawn, whose real name has been changed to protect his privacy, is a 31-year-old gay black man who lives in Tallahassee, Fla.
There, he works as a substitute middle school teacher and aspires to be a hip-hop artist. Shawn discovered his status in August 2013, and the news, while devastating, did not surprise him. But I live in Tallahassee, Fla., where the odds are stacked against me," he says.
“We have patients who are scared to death to come to our clinic because they don’t want people to find out about their condition.
People in the South are still in the dark ages about HIV.” “There are many, many people in this state who have been diagnosed but are not in care,” added Harold Henderson, who directs an HIV clinic at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson.