Source: Centers for Disease Control
This photo, taken in 1999 at a demonstration at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, shows the Shreveport chapter of ACT-UP demanding government action on the AIDS crisis. Seventeen years later, Louisiana ranks among the states with the highest rate of HIV infection in the nation, with 29.2 infections for every 100,000 residents (only Washington D.C. is higher, with a 66.1 infection rate). In the South, 55 percent of diagnosed HIV infections in 2015 were among African-Americans, while the percentage for white residents was less than half that: 22 percent.
"In most areas of the country, HIV is concentrated in urban areas, so states reporting more diagnoses or higher rates of persons living with diagnosed HIV infection or ever classified as AIDS usually contain major metropolitan areas," wrote the Centers for Disease Control in a recent report. "But in the South, larger percentages of diagnoses are in smaller metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas."