The U.S. Center for Disease Control published a brief on Tuesday blaming Southerners’ “racism” and “homophobia” that is driving the high HIV rates in the South is excessively high among African-Americans and homosexuals.
The issue brief, which claims that although the Southern states only have 37 percent of the U.S. population, they hold 44 percent of all HIV infected people in America. Of those, the majority of those infected are African-Americans and gay men.
“African Americans are severely affected by HIV in the South, accounting for 54 percent of new HIV diagnoses in 2014,” the brief notes.
“Black gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM) face an especially heavy burden, accounting for 59 percent of all HIV diagnoses among African Americans in the South.”
An HIV investigations in the South in 2014 showed that white gay men accounted for the second highest number of infected with gay Latino men close behind.
“Issues such as homophobia and transphobia, racism, and general discomfort with public discussion of sexuality may be more widespread in the South and can lead to higher levels of stigma,” the CDC claims.
According to the CDC, the shame and stigma “may limit people’s willingness to seek HIV testing, care, or prevention services.”
The CDC doesn’t imply the individual’s lifestyle choices a possible reason for the high HIV rates. Instead it puts the blame on others and also claims that “income inequality” could also be a factor.