Misconceptions about HIV in southern states may affect the prevalence of the disease
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Regular HIV and sexually transmitted disease testing is one of the best ways to slow the spread of the disease, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states.
However, some areas of the U.S. hold misconceptions about HIV, which may discourage individuals from seeking testing, treatment or talking about the disease with their partners.
According to a recent article published by USA Today, the prevalence of HIV in some Mississippi towns is comparable to that of San Francisco and New York, although many people who live in the south associate the virus with a condition that only affects gay men in big cities.
Health experts told the newspaper that some people who live in the south have been known to avoid HIV testing or even throw out their medications due to the fear of their friends or family accusing them of being homosexual.
However, the news provider noted that these misconceptions may only be contributing to the growing prevalence of the disease in these states.
"If we don't get a handle on where the epidemic is growing fastest we're going to have an explosion," said Patrick Packer, executive director of the Southern AIDS Coalition and CEO of AIDS Alabama in Birmingham, quoted by the news source.
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