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  1. An article in a local paper (Independent Weekly) describes the U.S. South as the new epicenter.
    “Closer to home, I didn’t know that the South—and North Carolina in particular—is the new ground zero, the literal and metaphoric epicenter of the 21st century HIV/AIDS epidemic. According to Evelyn Foust, the state’s longtime AIDS director, “the South has the highest percentage of AIDS cases and new infections [in the country], and North Carolina is right in the middle of this.” Recent data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention unequivocally supports this view: 45 percent of all new U.S. HIV infections and fully half of all AIDS deaths occur in the South. Indeed it has. To date nearly 200,000 have died in the South from HIV/AIDS; this is the highest cumulative number of estimated deaths among the regions.”
    The cause:
    “The reasons are well known; the solutions less clear. Unlike San Francisco, New York or Miami—the original epicenters of the epidemic—the South faces unique problems: deep and widespread poverty, a comparative dearth of federal dollars, its intrinsically rural nature, no national media close at hand, and the Bible Belt mentality once so forcefully advocated by former Sen. Jesse Helms and still clung to by his conservative disciples.”
    Full article: http://www.indyweek.com/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A164667
    Who says poverty, ignorance, and aberrant religious and cultural views don’t cost us all. I wonder if this country ever gets universal healthcare if evangelicals will block federal health funding for aids treatment – we don’t want to interrupt god’s work after all.