SASI Call to Action: SASI calls for the White House, the Office of National AIDS Policy, and the Department of Health and Human Services to convene a State of the South Task Force to address the South’s exploding HIV/AIDS epidemic.
The Deep South – Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and East Texas – is facing a devastating HIV crisis. The Deep South has the highest rates of new HIV and AIDS diagnoses in the United States and people living with HIV in the Deep South die at much higher rates than in other parts of the country. This crisis is particularly acute in certain populations in the South: 54% of new HIV cases among African Americans in the United States were in the Deep South; 1 in 5 African American MSM (men who have sex with men) in the South are estimated to be living with HIV; 8 of the Deep South states report a higher proportion of women among new HIV infections than the US average; and one-half of the new HIV diagnoses among Hispanics/Latinos occur in the Southern US.
SASI is asking that the federal government convene a State of the South Task Force to recommend National HIV/AIDS Strategy implementation steps directed at the Southeast, to identify collaborative opportunities across federal agencies, and to identify funding opportunities for projects aimed at evaluating best HIV prevention and care practices for the Southern US. SASI is asking that the White House announce the Task Force members, including leading administration officials across federal agencies, leading state officials, private sector partners, people living with HIV in the South and their HIV health and social service providers, at the International AIDS Conference in July 2012.
Please support the call for a State of the South Task Force by becoming a SASI coalition partner and signing on to SASI’s Call to Action. If your organization would like to sign on, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with the name of your group by April 16th.