POZ, a publication of Smart + Strong, celebrates 100 names who are frontrunners in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Smart + Strong also publishes AIDSmeds.com, a website for HIV/AIDS treatment information; Real Health, a magazine and website for African-American health; Tu Salud, a magazine and website for Latino health; Sane, a website for mental wellness; and Hep, a website for hepatitis information.
The magazine, which has daily HIV/AIDS news, treatment information, forums, blogs and personals, shifts to a different geographical focus this year: the South. Using the U.S. Census Bureau's definition, they listed states in the South as follows: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.
Most People With HIV Usually Live In Poor Areas
Why the South? Kathie M. Hiers, CEO of AIDS Alabama and a POZ 100 honoree, said in a documentary : "[In the United States, the South has] the most people living with HIV/AIDS, the most poverty, the most sexually transmitted infections, the most people without health insurance, the most vulnerable populations, the fastest-growing epidemic, the least access to health care, the highest mortality rates and the least resources to deal with this crisis." Income inequality, poverty and poorer health outcomes are more widespread in the South than the rest of the United States.
Southern States Are Experiencing An HIV Epidemic
The Southern states comprise 37 percent of the U.S. population and accounts for 44 percent of Americans living with the virus. The HIV epidemic in the South is alarming. Eight of the 10 states with the highest rates of new HIV diagnoses are in the South. This year, POZ aims to recognize Southerners who are taking the lead to fight HIV/AIDS.
The names who made it to the list can be found here.