HIV/AIDS Epidemic in the South Reaches Crisis Proportions in Last Decade, Susan Reif et al., Duke Center for Health Policy and Inequalities Research (2012)

White Papers and Reports

This report examines the significant and disproportionate impact of HIV in the Southern United States, focusing specifically on nine southern states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and (East) Texas.

According to the report, commissioned by the Southern HIV/AIDS Strategy Initiative (SASI) and compiled by the Duke Center for Health Policy and Inequalities Research, 35 percent of new HIV infections in 2009 were in the nine targeted Southern states, which contain only 22 percent of the U.S. population. These states also have the highest rates of new diagnoses in the nation. Researchers also found that all nine targeted states are among the 15 states with the highest HIV-related death rates.

The authors linked these findings to multiple factors whose co-occurrence is unique to the Southern Unites States, including the South's poor overall health rankings, high levels of poverty, and ethnicity and gender issues that limit particular communities' access to adequate health care services. The report demonstrates the interrelatedness of social and economic factors that support the greater impact of HIV in this region and affirms the need for a holistic approach to address HIV in the South. More about the legal needs of HIV positive people in the South can be found here.