AIDS has become a huge problem for the southern part of America.
America has put a lot of effort into educating today’s society on safe sex practices and coming up with a new generation of pharmeceuticals. Because of this effort, many Americans have begun to believe that the AIDS problem has been, if not solved, at least addressed. However, this is not the case for some southern American states. According to Los Angeles Times, these states make up 50% of all new HIV infections within the United States.
The South has the highest rate of deaths involving HIV in the United States. They also have the highest amount of teens and adults living with HIV, and sadly the fewest amout of resources to fight the epidemic. The horrible disease seems to be concentrated, for the most part, in poor minority communities. Unfortunately, by the time most of these HIV cases are diagnosed, they have already developed into full-fledged AIDS. This is unfortunate because by the time HIV has developed into full-fledged AIDS, treatment is much less effective. AIDS treatment is not easy to come by either. Thousands of people living with the virus are unable to get the medication they need. These people wait for slots to open up in state AIDS drug assistance programs. President Obama has recently spoken out and pledged to get rid of the waiting lists, so that these AIDS patients can get the treatment they need without the wait.
Mississippi has the highest AIDS death rate in America with it being 60% higher than the national average, and sadly about half of the people who know they are living with the AIDS virus are not geting the treatment they need. This is about the same percentage of untreated AIDS patience as it is in Ethiopia.
Public health workers and researchers from around the world are meeting for the annual International AIDS Conference in Washington D.C. this week. This will be the first time in 22 years that the conference has been held in the United States.