This report is an update of the 2002 Southern States Manifesto, which described the disproportionate impact of the HIV epidemic on communities in the Southern states as well as the challenges those in the South face in working to address the HIV crisis. The report details the obstacles faced in the South, including rising infection rates; inadequate funding, resources, and infrastructures; vulnerable populations, poverty, unemployment, high rates of uninsured and underinsured, and stigma. It provides a detailed analysis of the HIV and STI statistics in the South, as well as a discussion of the myriad of marginalized groups that comprise the affected population—such as men who have sex with men (MSM), people of color, and women—and why these populations face particular challenges in the South. It concludes with a discussion of opportunities to meet these challenges, including expansion not merely of testing but also of counseling and support, age-appropriate education to avoid infection, and housing funding as a tool for prevention.
The Center for HIV Law and Policy challenges barriers to the rights and health of people affected by HIV through legal advocacy, high-impact policy initiatives, and creation of cross-issue partnerships, networks, and resources. We support movement building that amplifies the power of individuals and communities to mobilize for change that is rooted in racial, gender, and economic justice.