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HIV in Durham NC and the Rural South.

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HIV cases rise where there is poverty and lack of resources. This is a known fact. Much like those who breed and have babies yet cannot sustain their own existence. I think Jerry Springer has shown about that. Anyway HIV infections seem to rise in southern states especially in rural areas where access to care and resources are limited. HIV rates are consistently higher in rural areas and the south than any other states in the union. South and North Carolina have high rates of HIV infection and also the highest number of people on the ADAP waiting list. North Carolina has the best HIV doctors in the country as well. UNC hospital has an entire service area designated to serving those with HIV. HIV research and funding is big business in the research triangle and is also home to many companies which produce HIV meds and trial vaccines. Although there is no cure for HIV, medication therapy has seen great improvements over the last few years. Many people complain of side effects from the medication which may be reasons for non-adherence. The importance of taking medication is without a doubt an HIV doctor’s primary concern for their patients but recently many people across the country have questioned their ability help with quality of life. Some say the toxicity of the medications cause more harm than good and that it is a farce created for the monetary benefit of pharmaceutical companies. This continues to be debatable and while I hold no side I do feel that it may be a reason for non-adherence by HIV positives who refrain from taking meds.

The South more so than other states seems to have affluent and the poor and not much middle of the road people. It is very connected and holds high Christian values. These values do not look favorably on extramarital affairs and in place of bars or pubs there is usually a church on almost every other block, these beliefs are homegrown and the society has little tolerance for change HIV therefore is considered taboo and is never talked about by the general public favorably. HIV is considered an ill gotten disease in which the person afflicted should suffer accordingly. These are my views only but this is what I have noticed since living here. There have been writers and researchers who have gone into rural southern areas to address HIV but received little to no fanfare and left before getting any type of information. The rural south although having high rates of infection still seems to refuse to admit and address the illnesses which plague their own communities. This although ironic is not surprising.

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