Around 1.1 million people are living with HIV in the United States of America (USA). Nearly one in seven of these people are unaware they have HIV.
The size of the HIV epidemic is relatively small compared to the country’s population, but is heavily concentrated among several key affected populations. Around 70% of annual new HIV infections occur among gay and other men who have sex with men (sometimes referred to as MSM), among whom African American/Black men are most affected, followed by Latino/Hispanic men.
Heterosexual African American/Black women and transgender women of all ethnicities are also disproportionately affected.
Now, before we begin, across the world, here are the top 10 Countries with the Most HIV Cases (2022):
South Africa — 7,800,000
India — 2,300,000
Mozambique — 2,100,000
Tanzania — 1,700,000
Nigeria — 1,700,000
Zambia — 1,500,000
Uganda — 1,400,000
Kenya — 1,400,000
Zimbabwe — 1,300,000
Russia — 1,000,000
While the USA may not be in the top 10 across the world, the United States is the greatest funder of the global response to HIV. But don’t forget that the U.S. does have an ongoing HIV epidemic, with approximately 36,801 people receiving an HIV diagnosis in the United States and dependent areas.
HIV affects locations in the U.S. differently as well, so we’ve compiled the cities with the highest rates in the nation (this list has been updated as of 2022). Looking at these cities, you’ll find that many of them have a large Black population, significant issues with poverty, and are geographically located in the South.
10. Baltimore, Maryland – 24.3
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 HIV.gov.
AIDS occurs when a person’s immune system becomes damaged, and people who are diagnosed with AIDS typically survive about three years.
9. Jacksonville, Florida – 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.
8. Columbia, South Carolina – 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,” meaning that in some cases, a diagnosed person might not seek treatment due to