Facts: HIV/AIDS in the South

A background report prepared by the Kaiser Family Foundation for its recent Southern States Summit on HIV/AIDS and STDs, includes these facts:

  • At of the end of 2001, the South had the greatest number of people estimated to be living with AIDS (AIDS prevalence) in the United States. While due in part to the fact that the South has the largest population size of all regions in the U.S., AIDS has had a disproportionate impact in the South. While the South represents a little more than one-third of the U.S. population (36%), it accounts for 46% of the estimated number of new AIDS cases.
  • The impact of AIDS in the South may be increasing. The South represents a growing share of people estimated to be living with AIDS in the nation, rising from 35% in 1993 to 40% in 2001. By comparison, AIDS prevalence as a proportion of overall prevalence in the Northeast, West, and Midwest regions of the country either decreased over this same period or remained constant.
  • While the estimated number of new AIDS cases in the U.S remained relatively stable between 2000 and 2001 (increasing by 1%), estimated AIDS incidence in the South increased by 9%. Incidence decreased in the Northeast (-8%) and West (-4%) and increased slightly in the Midwest (2%) between 2000 and 2001.
  • The South has the second-highest AIDS case rate per 100,000 in the nation (18.2 in 2001). The Northeast has the highest AIDS case rate (23.5). Seven of the states with the 10 highest AIDS case rates in the nation are in the South.
  • The South has the greatest number of people estimated to be living with AIDS in the nation (when compared to the Northeast, West, and Midwest).

(Editor’s note: More highlights of the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Summit can be found found at: www.kaisernetwork.org/healthcast/kff/14nov02.)

Source: Kaiser Family Foundation. Southern Summit report. Menlo Park, CA; November 2002.