Deep South States continue to drive the HIV epidemic in the US

SASI Releases: HIV/AIDS in the US Deep South: Trends from 2008-2013With six years of HIV/AIDS related data, new SASI Trends Report confirms that nine Deep South states are driving the HIV epidemic in the US.

The trends documented in SASI’s recent Report have been consistent over the last six years of data and indicate a critical need to strengthen efforts to reduce HIV transmission and mortality within the region. These trends may reflect barriers to timely HIV testing and treatment such as HIV-related stigma, lack of transportation and housing and inadequate availability of HIV medical providers. It is important that the Deep South region receive an equitable share of HIV care and prevention funding and that funding is distributed consistent with the geographic distribution of the epidemic.

In addition, failure to adopt Medicaid expansion in most of the Deep South states, which has resulted in tens of thousands of individuals living with HIV remaining uninsured and dependent on an overburdened Ryan White program for basic HIV health services, is likely to widen the gap between the targeted states and other US regions.

Key Demographic Findings from the Report:

   Nine Deep South States* lead in new HIV/AIDS Diagnoses:

  • From 2008 to 2013, nine Deep South states have had the highest HIV and AIDS diagnosis rates and numbers in the US;
  • In 2013, the Deep South region accounted for 40% of new HIV diagnoses and 43% of new AIDS diagnoses with only 28% of the US population.

   Nine Deep South States lead in HIV Prevalence:

  • The Deep South region had the highest number and percentage of persons living with HIV (34%) of any US region (2012).

   Nine Deep South States lead in Death Rates from HIV Disease:

  • The HIV death rate was highest in the Deep South region in 2013;
  • From 2008-2013, 21,308 people in the Deep South region died from HIV as the underlying cause of death representing 43% of total HIV deaths in the US.

   Nine Deep South States lead in Racial Disparities:

  • In 2013, for every 100,000 black/African Americans in the Deep South region, 62 more blacks were diagnosed with HIV than for every 100,000 whites;
  • The percentage of HIV diagnoses among black men who have sex with men (MSM) increased from 25.9% in 2008 to nearly one-third (31.4%) in 2013 in the Deep South region, the largest increase of any US region.
  • In 2013, nearly half (48%) of black MSM diagnosed with HIV in the US lived in the Deep South region;
  • In 2013, over one-third (37%) of Hispanic/Latinos diagnosed with HIV in the US lived in the Deep South region;
  • In 2013, the HIV diagnosis rate for black women in the Deep South region was 37.5 per 100,000 while the rate for white women was 2.6 per 100,000;
  • In 2013, HIV disease was the 9th leading cause of death for black men and the 12th leading cause of death for black women in the Deep South region.

 

* Deep South States: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas.

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