PoliticsHealth Care


In Real Life: HIV In The Deep South

Southern states account for 51% of new HIV cases in the nation. Mississippi is breaking down barriers and stigmas in an effort to reduce transmission.
Posted at 1:36 PM, Apr 01, 2022

The U.S. South is home to just over a third of the nation’s population — but more than half of new HIV cases each year.   

Mississippi public health experts say one of the biggest hurdles to preventing and treating HIV in the region is the stigma surrounding the virus and people’s willingness to discuss it. That's especially true when it comes to reaching and treating the South's LGBTQ+ community, many of whom don't feel safe talking about their sexuality, even in a public health setting.   

Public health officials across Mississippi and the South say challenging that stigma around sexual health typically starts with a conversation. Those conversations often lead to education. Education leads to testing. Testing leads to treatment — whether to prevent contracting the virus or to live a healthy life with HIV.   

“In Real Life – HIV in the Deep South” shows how public health officials are reaching out to members of the LGBTQ+ community and beyond in the push for better and healthier lives.