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Louisiana: Baton Rouge Leads U.S. in AIDS Cases

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--- Quote from: Miss Philicia on October 29, 2012, 10:19:08 PM ---It's more like such places are catching up to what's been present in other parts of the US over several decades, though not to minimize the crisis.

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That is the issue here in the more rural Southern states. Because of smaller populations which are spread out, a lack of concern, a lack of education, widespread poverty, what has been a slower rate of infection that is now increasing dramatically - and all magnified by stigma (racial, sexual and religious) - most of the Southern states are probably 15-20 yrs behind areas like NYC or SanFran in the curve of how the epidemic is affecting these states.

Edited to add this article that AIDS Healthcare Foundation just tweeted about last night

--- Quote ---"This disease is no longer a metropolitan problem," says Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., a host of the roundtable. "In fact, infection rates in the rural South are among the fastest-growing in the country."
There are much higher concentrations of HIV specialists in traditional "epicenters" of the HIV epidemic 411 in California; 275 in New York state compared with 243 in the nine Southeast states, says Bruce Packett, deputy executive director of the American Academy of HIV Medicine. This concentration of expert care "just isn't rationally representative of HIV incidences by state," he says.
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Just saw this post for the first time. I was actually diagnosed in Baton Rouge. Philly is right that it I percentage of new infections that is so scary for Baton Rouge. I would imagine Baton Rouge is much smaller than Philadelphia though. I heard a figure once that 1 in 5 students was HIV+ at southern university. Baton Rouge and New Orleans are always in the top 5 for new infections though. There is absolutely no education down here because no one wants to talk about it. I mentioned once that in Mississippi we didn't talk about it and Philly said there was no way. There is a way when the community has decided that sex education is a bad idea they do their best to avoid the topic at all costs.


--- Quote from: jkinatl2 on October 29, 2012, 11:22:32 PM ---Which would beg the question of institutionalized racism, the church's hold over popular opinion and behavior (especially and ironically the traditional black churches) as well as sanctioned homophobia. The issue of HIV demographics insists on the inclusion of these as well as other hot-button issues. Many people, both in the public eye and out, are very reluctant to address these issues at depth, obviously to the detriment of prevention, testing and treatment.

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^This.  Every word of it.  I was reading through this thread before I got to this post, and the same soup of thoughts were stirring in my head.  Every high horse, "morality" minded approach to this disease ends up producing the opposite:  immoral response.  And by that I mean all of it from confidential vs. anonymous testing, NOT establishing routine testing for EVERYONE (to the point of being able to sue your doctor for testing you), the criminalization goes on and on. 

This is so very unfortunate.


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