According to a recent estimate by the Centers for Disease Control,
nearly half of all new HIV/AIDS diagnoses in the United States are in
the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana,
Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee--the same
region that is leading the nation in persons living with, and dying
This morning, a new infographic
was released by AIDS United to show how HIV/AIDS is ravaging the U.S.
South and to bolster the organization's urgent request to Southern
lawmakers to direct more research and attention to the problem.
"When it comes to living with HIV/AIDS, where you live should not affect
how well you live," said AIDS United Vice President of Policy and
Advocacy Ronald Johnson. "Making sure that people living with or
affected by HIV/AIDS - especially those in the overburdened U.S. South -
have access to crucial HIV prevention, care and treatment services
should not be a partisan issue. The Members of Congress who join us
today recognize this, and we ask for their help to increase awareness
and spearhead research that will advance this important work."
To that end, AIDS United today invited Senator Jeff Sessions
(R-AL), Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC), Representative Hank Johnson
(D-GA), Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), and the Congressional
HIV/AIDS Caucus, along with other members of the Southern
delegation, as well as experts in the field and private philanthropic
organizations, to participate in a roundtable discussion in Washington,
D.C. to spotlight the innovative work now happening within the Southern
U.S. to tackle the crisis.
"This disease is no longer a metropolitan problem," said Sen. Jeff
Sessions. "In fact, infection rates in the rural South are among the
fastest-growing in the country."