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Recent studies confirm that Atlanta is known for more than its musical heritage, Southern hospitality, sports teams and good food. It has also hit the map as the number one city for HIV. According to a recent report, when it comes to the rate of new HIV cases diagnosed, the capital of the New South is ranked number one among U.S. cities. Moreover, by the time patients are diagnosed in Atlanta, nearly one-third have already advanced to clinical AIDS, which greatly decreases the chances of survival from the disease.
For many Atlanta residents, the recent study results are not as shocking as it appears to outsiders. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), one in 51 Georgians will be diagnosed with HIV in their lifetime. Downtown Atlanta has been compared to Zimbabwe by one of the doctors from the Emory University Center for AIDS Research. Atlanta is not the only city in crisis with HIV, but overall, the Deep South leads with the highest rate of infection. One woman, with relatives in the city ranked number one, said:
GAYLANTA is the capital of black tranny runaway down-lows, bisexuals, and lesbians. It’s OK to be who you are, freedom is good, but I would not move to Atlanta. Any ladies that have a man in Atlanta, and they met him there, better run like their hair is on fire!!!!!!!!!!!
According to studies, carriers of the STD can live eight to 10 years with an untreated case of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus before it advances to clinical AIDS. Across Georgia, nearly a third of the people who find out they are HIV positive are recipients of a late diagnosis. There are at least 50 places to get tested in the Atlanta area, yet, many people refuse to get tested. Upon arrival for testing at Grady Hospital, according to Dr. Abigail Hankin-Wei, nearly half of them already have AIDS before receiving the diagnosis.
Sister Love is a community-based AIDS treatment and advocacy group in the diverse city. The mission of the organization is to eradicate the adverse impact of HIV/AIDS and other reproductive health challenges of women and their families through education, support, prevention, and human rights advocacy across the globe. Dazon Dixon Diallo, president of the organization, said:
We should not even be talking about AIDS anymore these days, and yet we still are.
It is not only being talked about worldwide but being transmitted at lightning speed in Atlanta. Unemployment, lack of healthcare and poverty have created the “perfect storm” for AIDS in the African-American community. In the study, the black community continues to be the most affected group with one in 48 women and one in 20 men being diagnosed with HIV in their lifetime. With HIV impacting such a wide race of people, Atlanta ranks number one. The number of HIV diagnoses among black women has declined but is still high compared to women of other races and ethnicities. Knowing one’s status is empowering.
There is a myriad of factors that make STDs significantly more difficult to overcome in the black community. Some of the main reasons are poverty, stigmas, institutionalized racism, homophobia in the church, multiple sex partners and the high percentage of men in the closet. Atlanta may rank as number one in the country with HIV, but it is not the only city being infected. The moral of the story is, “Get tested and stay protected!”
By Cherese Jackson (Virginia)
Rolling Out: CDC expert states HIV infection rate in Atlanta as bad as African countries
Atlanta Daily World: Atlanta ranked No. 1 city for new HIV/AIDS cases
Bossip: For Your Information: Atlanta Ranked #1 U.S. City For New Cases Of HIV
Sister Love: About Us
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