HIV Disparities in the U.S. South
The disparate impact of HIV on southern U.S. states is outlined in a recent report, which is based upon CDC data that further document particularly high rates in a handful of southern states.
The June report, HIV/AIDS in the U.S. Deep South: Trends from 2008-2016 (Southern HIV/AIDS Strategy Initiative, SASI) highlights continued disparities in a nine-state region characterized as the Deep South. In a nutshell, compared to other U.S. regions, the Deep South has the highest rates of HIV and AIDS diagnoses and deaths and the lowest rates of PrEP uptake. The Deep South also tracks national trends with a growing proportion of HIV cases being among black men who have sex with men.
The Deep South report is based on an analysis of CDC’s HIV Surveillance System Database, which also breaks out data by region. The CDC database presents the South as a 16-state (plus DC) region while the above SASI report breaks the region into the Deep South (nine states) and the Rest of the South (seven states and DC). CDC surveillance data reveal that HIV incidence rates in 2017 were particularly high in three southern states: Florida, Georgia and Louisiana (see Table 26, Diagnoses of HIV Infection in the United States and Dependent Areas, 2017, HIV Surveillance Report).