Valdosta Daily Times

What We Think

November 28, 2012

HIV/AIDS in the South

VALDOSTA — HIV/AIDS has never gone away. Most people know this, but many readers may have come to believe that the numbers have dropped. That, perhaps, HIV/AIDS is no longer a danger or threat. These readers may have been surprised by the numbers in a Monday article in The Valdosta Daily Times.

• About 950 people are living with HIV/AIDS in the 10 counties of South Health District as of 2010. These counties are Lowndes, Brooks, Echols, Lanier, Cook, Berrien, Tift, Irwin, Ben Hill, Turner.

• About 460 people are living with HIV/AIDS in Lowndes County.

• African-Americans make up 75-80 percent of all HIV cases in South Health District.

The South Health District supplied these numbers in preparation for Saturday’s Dec. 1 World AIDS Day and the 4:30 p.m. Friday screening of the documentary “deepsouth” in Valdosta State University Student Union Theatre. The film chronicles the lives of four people and the rise of HIV/AIDS in the South. The movie is a frank revelation that HIV and AIDS have not vanished and are on the rise in the southern United States.

Many people think AIDS is no longer as prevalent because national news indicates lower death rates compared to reports from the 1980s. This is because new drugs are keeping people alive, but “the number of those infected every year has not decreased and we are still seeing 55,000 people a year newly infected with roughly half of those new infections in the South,” said John Rogers, South Health District public health educator.

Also, misconceptions, especially in South Georgia, lead people to believe they face no danger. Rogers lists these misconceptions as “it is a gay disease, only drug users get it, only people who slept around get it, there is no HIV in the rural areas of Georgia, only young people get it and many other misconceptions. All of these are also wrong.”

World AIDS Day is set aside to raise awareness about AIDS and HIV. For South Georgia, this awareness has come a few days early. Even though medications have increased the lifespan and improved the quality of life for HIV/AIDS patients, there remains no cure. That has not changed at all.

1
Text Only
What We Think
  • A life that keeps giving

    When golfers take to the course today, they will play for fun and fellowship, but they will also play for the memory of a young man lost too soon and for the many lives he’s positively influenced since his passing more than 10 years ago.

    April 25, 2014

  • Meet the artist

    His prints are innovative, energetic, colorful, insightful.

    April 24, 2014

  • Program works to make men

    The idea is to change patterns.

    April 23, 2014

  • Missing persons: Fill in the blanks

    Missing persons cases are tough. They are tough because they are vague.

    April 20, 2014

  • He is Risen

    Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they and certain other women with them came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared.

    April 19, 2014

  • Thumbs up

    THUMBS UP: To Carol Mikkelsen. Valdosta State University Opera’s “Dido and Aeneas” marks the last production before Mikkelsen’s retirement
    after 44 years with Valdosta State and the creation of the opera program. She plans to continue
    working with VSU part-time, but this weekend’s performance marks her last full-time participation with the opera productions. Ovations all around for her work.

    April 18, 2014

  • Feed the hungry, adopt a duck

    If you haven’t already adopted a duck, you have a little more than a week to do so.

    April 17, 2014

  • If I were mayor

    Each year, the City of Valdosta holds an essay contest, “If I Were Mayor,” with students in the area writing their ideas about what they would do as the head of the city.

    April 16, 2014

  • The real lessons of a mock drill

    Valdosta High School’s Students Against Destructive Decisions held a powerful mock demonstration Monday morning on the school’s campus.

    April 14, 2014

  • Kudos to VPD

    Followed by a stellar report on Sunday about the drop in the crime rate in the City of Valdosta, city police officers prove their worth once again by arresting a dangerous fugitive in our community.

    April 13, 2014

Top News
Poll

Given the amount of rain recently, what's your favorite “rain” song?

Singing in the Rain
Purple Rain
Have You Ever Seen the Rain?
November Rain
Rainy Night in Georgia
Other
     View Results