Documenting the stigma of HIV/AIDS in the South

News with a Twist
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New Orleans (WGNO)– Many people may not realize this but southern states have some of the highest number of HIV/AIDS cases in the nation.  It’s an epidemic here in Louisiana, where Baton Rouge and New Orleans rank in the top 5 year after year.  A new web documentary series wants to get the word out.  News With A Twist reporter Deepak Saini has the story.

We’re afraid to talk about HIV/AIDS even when its staring us in the face.

“It’s a taboo topic still because of that fear.  People aren’t getting tested. People aren’t getting treatment. It’s just spreading,” says Stephen Lucin with World Clinicians, Inc.

It’s spreading like wildfire in Louisiana, which according to the CDC, ranks 3rd in the nation for the most HIV cases.

Tyler Curry and Stephen Lucin are traveling through the south, opening up the dialogue about why HIV is on the rise.

“Talking about sex is not something you can do here. We try it but there’s still a layer of ‘we don’t talk about that stuff down here in the south,'” says Tyler Curry with HIV Equal Online.

Tyler and Stephen hope to raise awareness by putting their docu-series on HIV Equal Online.  It’s a campaign launched by World Health Clinicians, Inc. to encourage people to get tested.

“Just making people aware of what’s going on. What’s happening. Why certain places within our country are being infected with HIV in totally different and unique ways than the coast or other places in the U.S.,” says Lucin.

The point is to get people talking.

“Hopefully people disagree with what we’re doing. Good. talk about it. Be loud about it. It’s a topic that should be discussed more,” says Curry.


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