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
  • 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

  • It just plain stinks

    After every rain event, the pungent smell of sewage can be detected around the rivers and streams of south Georgia, and Florida residents brace for more to float their way.

    April 13, 2014

  • Pennsylvania school stabbings: Why?

    The following editorial appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Thursday, April 10:

    April 11, 2014

  • European bans on emails unlikely in America

    Several European countries are banning work emails to employees before and after normal working hours, between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., in an effort to curb the perceived abuse of employees by corporations.

    April 11, 2014

  • Strength of character

    It was an unusual friendship — a tiny 8-year old girl with long blonde hair and the 6’10” Michigan State basketball player.

    April 10, 2014

  • Daly’s return a boost for Valdosta

    Flashy, colorful and always a hit with the fans for his long drives and humble demeanor, John Daly’s return to Kinderlou Forest and the South Georgia Classic is a boon for Valdosta.

    April 9, 2014

  • Too many pinwheels

    April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, with numerous volunteers assisting the Child Advocacy Center in placing pinwheels on the lawn of the Valdosta City Hall. Each pinwheel represents one child that was a victim of abuse in 2013. Volunteers placed 887 pinwheels in remembrance.

    April 8, 2014

Top News
Poll

What you think about school and workplace rules about Facebook friends?

There have to be rules.
No need for rules, just use common sense.
If people want to be friends, what is the big deal?
Nobody uses Facebook anymore.
     View Results