HIV/AIDS Is Taking Over Atlanta
The great city of Atlanta is facing a HIV/AIDS crisis.
Experts say more than one in nine gay Black residents are infected with the disease and comparisons are being drawn to New York City’s AIDS crisis in the 1980s.
“Atlanta is like New York was in the ’80s in the need to develop a public health response to a serious [HIV] epidemic,” said Devin-Barrington Ward, a Washington, D.C.-based advocate, to Al Jazeera America. Ward has assisted in organizing a symposium on the matter.
In terms of rankings, Georgia is second among U.S. states in the rate of new HIV diagnoses, which puts them only behind Louisiana.
Atlanta ranks fifth among metropolitan areas with populations of 500, 000 or more.
According to the National AIDS Manual, the rate for gay Black men in Atlanta infected with HIV/AIDS is at 12 percent, making it “one of the highest figures for HIV incidence ever recorded in a population in the resource-rich world.”
The Department of Public Health says in Georgia, AIDS has become the leading cause of death among Black people in the state between the ages of 35 to 44.
Dr. Wendy Armstrong, a researcher at Emory University’s Center for AIDS Research, is shocked by these developments.
“None of my colleagues [nationally] are seeing those numbers,” said Dr. Armstrong.
Hopefully, as the year progresses, we begin to see a drop in these figures.