The Resurgence of HIV in the American South


The HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States has migrated from the previous epicenters of San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York in the 1980s to the American South, which now accounts for more than half of the country's new HIV infections.
 
J. Stephen Morrison, CSIS Senior Vice President and Director of the Global Health Policy Center, and Justin Kenny, filmmaker with Small Footprint Films, recently traveled to Tennessee and Arkansas to better understand what's driving the disproportionate number of HIV infections in the South. These hotspots are among the more than 50 communities in the United States to receive additional funding and support through President Trump's plan to end HIV/AIDS in the United States by 2030. Local health professionals, young gay and transgender activists, and others on the front lines told Morrison and Kenny that the drivers of the epidemic - poverty, stigma, inadequate sexual education, health literacy, religious and cultural views, and mistrust of the medical community - must be addressed for any plan to have a meaningful impact.
 
The full documentary will be released in 2020 and includes many prominent HIV/AIDS researchers and thought leaders, including Dr. Tony Fauci, Dr. Peter Piot, and Dr. Shannon Hader. In the fall of this year, the filmmakers are expected to travel to South Africa to document other critical stories.

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