HIV education not reaching the South

Jul 20, 2011

Alarming HIV numbers in the American South

The HIV epidemic may have been waning in recent years with an increase in educational information and the development of successful drug protocols, but a disturbing report from Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health found that the disease is vastly entrenched in the American South, according to USA Today.

There is a direct correlation between HIV rates and poverty, and Southern counties with the highest HIV infection rates are among the poorest in the country, the media outlet reports.

"People with household incomes of less than $10,000 a year were 10 times more likely to have HIV than people whose household incomes are greater than $50,000," Jonathan Mermin, director of HIV/AIDS prevention at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told the news source.

This disease affects minorities at a disproportionate rate, possibly causing an influx in life insurance policy purchases in these communities. In Mississippi, blacks make up 37 percent of the population, but also account for 76 percent of the state's new HIV cases.

Experts fear if something is not done to reach this section of the population in the near future, the epidemic could once again sweep through the nation.  

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