South (USA) now home to half of HIV+ population

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by leekohler, Apr 14, 2009.

  1. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #1
    Whoa- I had no idea it was this bad down there.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-black-aidsapr13,0,2563107.story
     
  2. themoonisdown09 macrumors 601

    themoonisdown09

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    #2
    Oh, it is that bad! Having HIV down here is like having blonde hair in California. :D
     
  3. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    #3
    Good ol' southern family values such as abstinence only at work :rolleyes:
     
  4. leekohler thread starter macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #4
    It just seems unreal to me. I would think that just given the population difference, that would be nearly impossible.
     
  5. themoonisdown09 macrumors 601

    themoonisdown09

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    I would like to know where in the south the majority of the HIV infected people are. It does seem weird because I've never heard anybody around me saying that they have HIV. I guess the reason for this is that this is not something you want everybody knowing.
     
  6. leekohler thread starter macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #6
    From the article, it seems like the stigma is still so bad that no one would say anything if they did have it.
     
  7. chrmjenkins macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

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    #7
    No, what Lee quoted adequately points out the reasons (education, poverty etc.), unless you care to objectively demonstrate, controlling for all the factors, that abstinence is more common in other parts of the country?
     
  8. leekohler thread starter macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #8
    Wouldn't abstinence-only education fall under the category of "education"? I think he was assuming that certain information is being withheld or not properly disseminated.
     
  9. chrmjenkins macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

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    #9
    Your original quote shows that the reasons are cited as inadequate education programs (not the failure of one particular type of program). While I would certainly infer that conclusion, that's not the point. He used the opportunity to take a jab at a demographic of our country by suggesting they were hypocritical. I responded the way I did because I felt it was a tasteless (and difficult to substantiate) remark to make about such a serious situation.
     
  10. BoyBach macrumors 68040

    BoyBach

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  11. leekohler thread starter macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    I would agree. But I don't see anything wrong with pointing out the irony here. The South can ill afford to ignore this problem much longer while screaming about immorality, abstinence and such. That's part of the problem, not the solution.
     
  12. chrmjenkins macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

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    #12
    I fail to see the irony. The most un-educated, impoverished part of the nation has a higher rate of disease. Unless you can say their values caused that, then they're just a victim of the statistics. The article points out African Americans are suffering at higher rates, just like the rest of the country. It's not weighted differently, it's just categorically worse. If you put the same conditions on the rest of the country, I think you would see similar results.

    Now, you could certainly make the case that their lack of being uneducated and poorer leads to a higher rate of traditional values and morals, but those beliefs and what we're seeing here are still a consequence of the same underlying conditions.

    We need to address their socioeconomic issues on top of their education ones to fully combat the problem.
     
  13. leekohler thread starter macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #13
    Again- I don't think we disagree here. Remember, a lot of the social stigma regarding HIV/AIDS as well as "traditional" values attitudes are contributing to the lack of proper education on this issue. That cannot be ignored. Economic issues are only one component. We can throw all the money in the world at it, but if attitudes don't change, the problem won't get better.
     
  14. Iscariot macrumors 68030

    Iscariot

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  15. leekohler thread starter macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #15
    It's absolutely frightening. This should not be happening. it scares the hell out of me.
     
  16. nbs2 macrumors 68030

    nbs2

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    It should. I just wish it wasn't.

    I don't have any data to back it up, but I would be that a large number of those infected live outside of Atlanta and whatever other cities of distinguishable size are in the south. While considerable educational and assistive resources are poured into urban, for whatever reason, rural and less populated communities get left behind.

    I suspect much of the failure in rural communities is based on a two-fold foundation - size and race. It is simply more cost effective to promote efforts in cities than in rural communities and blacks instead of other races. Working in a city, you can reach more people while spending less money. Lower travel costs, fewer offices, higher density all make per capita expenditures drop. Blacks have had a higher documented infection rate than all other races, meaning you can prevent more cases by educating the black community than anybody else. I suspect that if you look at funding, you will see that the black communities of major cities (most of which are not in the south) are the focus of efforts to educate and control the spread.

    While my experience is anecdotal and skewed by demographics, I have yet to see HIV awareness posters in suburban Maryland or Virginia and the posters I see in DC and Baltimore all have younger blacks.

    Hopefully there will be a greater effort to reach broader segments of the population, but I suspect we will need to get over our instinct to deride the rural south if we are to reach that point.
     
  17. FreeState macrumors 68000

    FreeState

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    #17
    Map 1. Estimated rates (per 100,00 population) for adults and adolescents living with HIV infection (not AIDS) or with AIDS, 2005—United States and dependent areas (Revised June 2007)

    [​IMG]

    Note. Rates adjusted for reporting delays. Rates of HIV infection include only persons living with HIV infection that has not progressed to AIDS.
    Since 2001, the following 37 areas have had laws or regulations requiring confidential name-based HIV infection reporting: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

    Its from last year but it gives a good view by state... DC is scary as hell

    http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/surveillance/resources/reports/2005report/map1.htm
     
  18. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #18
    I think this is a serious issue, and I've seen a few of the problems with the way HIV is managed in the South first-hand, but I think there is also a mathematics issue here...

    The Southern AIDS Coalition estimates that approximately 50% of HIV+ individuals live in the South. The South (by their definition) makes up 36.4% of the US population. So, AIDS is over-represented in the South, but not by any kind of factor of many times the national average rate or anything like that. I think one of the problems with HIV prevention is highlighted by the fact that, while many Southern states are at the bottom of this list, California is also at the bottom of the list under most metrics.

    I think this does highlight the need for national financing of public health education and other interventions to reduce HIV transmission in both urban and rural areas (the Southern AIDS Coalitions numbers suggest that it's a problem in the South in areas of varying population density) in the South. It isn't exactly the case that there is a vastly different epidemic of HIV going on in the South than there is elsewhere... I think. More that the prevention and management efforts have been less successful.
     
  19. .Andy macrumors 68030

    .Andy

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    #19
    Let's not take this thread down the culture wars road. HIV+ is a horrible thing to live with, largely because of the stigma that has been cast on it. It's undeserved and from more intolerant bygone days. Everyone is at risk of HIV+. It's a problem for the whole of society to face together, not shun or demonise. The good news is that treatments are improving year in and out, but people need an incredible amount of support in tackling it. There is far more to it than taking a few meds each day.
     
  20. leekohler thread starter macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #20
    I agree with you .Andy. Unfortunately in much of the South, HIV is still stigmatized as part of the culture war. I don't think we can ignore that and pretend it doesn't exist. It's part of the problem.
     
  21. .Andy macrumors 68030

    .Andy

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    #21
    However as far as a discussion here, the problems with HIV associated with the culture wars can be discussed without delving into such remarks ourselves.
     
  22. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

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    #22
    And "the South" contains what percentage of the U.S. population?
     
  23. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #23
    ;)
     
  24. leekohler thread starter macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #24
    Agreed. Let's just make sure we don't pretend it's not part of the problem. It's a big part of it.
     
  25. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #25
    The open-ended question of how to reach out to MSMs, I think, is one of the bigger quandaries in how to make even more progress in pushing the HIV infection rate down. Now I think that's a real toughie, even compared to the challenge of working with the gorups of women who are getting infected at increasingly high rates and also vertical transmission (which is much more preventable than has been achieved to date).

    I think one of the biggest things with the MSM challenge is going to be going much further in making STD testing an easily accessible, hassle free, ultra-confidential way of life for people.
     

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