It doesn’t matter when or where HIV started, it’s all over the world and in your neighborhood. But it’s more prevalent in some cities compared to others. And it’s not where you think. Take a look at these cities:
Baltimore, MD – 24.3
Baltimore may have great seafood and be the home of HBO’s “The Wire,” but according to GetTested.com, HIV infection rates in Baltimore are on the rise due to a lack of education.
HIV is a lifelong infection that, if left untreated, can lead to AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome), according to AIDS.gov. AIDS occurs when a person’s immune system becomes damaged, and people who are diagnosed with AIDS typically survive about three years.
Jacksonville, FL – 25.1
Although Jacksonville isn’t thought of as a “party city” like other destinations on GetTested.com’s list, the site suggests that, “The number of business people and tourists who travel to Jacksonville,” might contribute to the high rates of HIV diagnoses and prevalence there.
Forty-four percent of people diagnosed with HIV live in the South, even though the region only contains about a third of the U.S. population. Aside from Baltimore, all of the cities on GetTested.com’s list are in the South.
Columbia, SC – 25.6
South Carolina’s Channel 10 WISTV.com reports that poverty, rural geography, lack of affordable healthcare and social stigma all contribute to the prevalence of HIV in the South.
“Researchers say being a part of the ‘Bible Belt’ adds to the stigma,” they report, meaning that in some cases, a diagnosed person might not seek treatment due to fear of rejection from the religious community.
Atlanta, GA – 25.9
We already know about the ATL having high rates of HIV, but according to GetTested.com, more than 1,000 people are diagnosed with HIV each year in Atlanta. What’s more, 50 percent of those people aren’t diagnosed until they already have AIDS.