An issue brief published on Tuesday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control claimed that that Southerners’ “racism,” and “homophobia” may be causing high HIV rates in the South that are disproportionately high among African-Americans and homosexuals.
According to the issue brief, Southern states have 37 percent of the U.S. population and 44 percent of all HIV infected people living in America. HIV rates among gay men and African-Americans account for the lion’s share of those infected with HIV.
“African Americans are severely affected by HIV in the South, accounting for 54 percent of new HIV diagnoses in 2014,” the brief notes.
The majority of those diagnoses were among black gay men, the CDC reports: “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.”
According to the 2010 Census, 55 percent of African-Americans live in the South.
White gay men accounted for the second-highest number of new HIV diagnoses in the South in 2014, followed closely by gay Latino men and black heterosexual women, and less closely by black heterosexual men.
The CDC claims that one of the “factors driving the Southern HIV epidemic” could be the apparent bigotry of Southerners.
“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. And increased levels of stigma — according to the CDC brief — “may limit people’s willingness to seek HIV testing, care, or prevention services.”
The CDC brief also claims “income inequality” could one of the factors driving high HIV rates in the South. The CDC does not suggest individual lifestyle choices as a possible factor resulting in high HIV rates.
This isn’t the first time the CDC has sought to blame “stigma” for high HIV rates.
As reported by The Daily Caller last month, the CDC claimed that the high HIV rate–28 percent–among transgender women (biological men) is due in part to the “stigma” faced by transgender people.
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