The HIV/ AIDS epidemic has significantly reduced in prevalence across the world and in the U.S in particular. Between 2010 and 2014 alone, there was a reduction of approximately 10% in the number of people infected by the epidemic (Leins par. 1). While most parts of the U.S have recorded significant reductions in the years after 2010, the south still records a high rate of infections, with more than 44% of Americans living with HIV being from the south (Leins par. 4). The prevalence of HIV in the south itself varies from one community to the other, with African Americans leading in infection rates. Several factors can be linked to the persistence of the epidemic in the south, and until those factors are addressed, it would be impossible to effectively control the spread of the epidemic across the South.
The southern part of the U.S.A leads in the prevalence of opioid use among youths. Any form of drug abuse results in negative outcomes, of which reckless sexual behavior is common. It can thus be argued that the high prevalence rate of drug use in the south contributes to the spread of HIV among the populations. Moreover, most of the infected, since are drug users, do not take the time to know their status with respect to HIV. This implies that it would be possible to engage in positive and protective sexual behavior as those infected do not understand the risk they could be putting others to. At the same time, poor health infrastructure could also promote lack of awareness of individual exposure to the epidemic, thus limiting the capacity to control its spread. Managing the spread of HIV/ AIDS in the south therefore, would require attention to the indicators and cause factors for HIV spread in the region. Only by addressing the causes can a sustainable solution be obtained.
Leins, Casey. Fighting the HIV/ AIDS epidemic in the South. U.S. News, 2017 December 5. Retrieved from www.usnews.com/news/best-states/articles/2017-12-05/southern-states-are-now-the-epicenter-of-the-hiv-aids-epidem