The Southern AIDS Coalition is pushing to fight more aggressively against HIV in the south due to the HIV/AIDS epidemic the region faces.
organization observed the Southern HIV/AIDS Awareness Day in
Birmingham, Ala. to declare its goal to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic
in the southern U.S.
AIDS Coalition participant Marvin Anderson said stigma surrounding
HIV/AIDS in the south is the new epidemic. And, this stigma prevents
people and families from getting tested. The organization created a
10-year, $100 million plan to give assistance to southern
organizations, offering resources that will help end the stigma tied
to the disease.
said, even with all the advances in medical technology and care, over
half of the undiagnosed infections are thought to be in the south.
an HIV/AIDS research group, offers an interactive map on its website.
This map can give users a better idea of where the highest rates of
people living with HIV/AIDS live – locally, statewide and
said the lack of resources, education, poverty levels, socioeconomic
classes and the inability for good health care has led to the
southern U.S. HIV/AIDS epidemic. He said other organization leaders
from the southern states will get together and meet with
HIV-infection individuals to create an action plan.
said one goal is to give them the tools and knowledge to be a better
advocate for themselves, to voice what life is like living with HIV
and to be considered a human.
said the primary goal is to change the way people see a diagnosis.
Anderson said, ending the stigma means eliminating the barriers that lead to a new diagnosis.
Here’s what we've been up to recently.
In the beginning, HIV drugs could be reduced to nearly untraceable levels, which means it’s no longer a death sentence for those who have the virus. Today, there is a treatment that allows HIV-negative people to remain HIV even if they have an HIV partner. However, to defeat the AIDS-causing virus, doctors must come up with a vaccine.