New Maps Show HIV Rates Nationwide: How Does Your Town Fare?

Reported by MTV Act.

Photo: (AIDSVu)

Today is National HIV Testing Day, which means we encourage you to get yourself tested. I know it’s a scary thought, but it is possible to have HIV — and be spreading it — and not realize any of this because you feel fine. According to the CDC, one in five people in the US who are HIV positive don’t even know it! In order to help curb the spread of HIV/AIDS, AIDSVu is setting up new interactive maps to show the prevalence of HIV in America.

Visuals can be a great way to learn and AIDSVu is offering you maps that show how many people have HIV — from an overall look at the country to close-ups on local communities. You can see which parts of the US have a bigger concentration of HIV (like the South, for example) but also see how your county looks, or maybe even your city.

Why are some places redder (meaning more HIV cases) than others? That’s another thing AIDSVu wants to talk about. The places with more HIV tend to have more poverty, which can mean lack of health insurance and lack of education. If you haven’t been taught about how to protect yourself from HIV, or if you don’t have good access to condoms (or you can’t afford them because it’s that or eating dinner tonight), then we start having major problems.

AIDSVu also shows ratios of who has HIV, like men versus women or by ethnic group. Again, things are not created equal here, and it often keeps going back to lack of education and lack of resources. The numbers are scary, but the good news is you can prevent the spread of HIV. That’s why testing is so key. If you get tested, not only will you know your status, you can seek treatment, because it’s def. possible to live a long and healthy life with HIV.

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