Newspapers Examine Web Site Launched for Women Living With HIV/AIDS in Southern U.S.
The Raleigh News & Observer and the New Orleans Times-Picayune on Wednesday published articles about the Southern AIDS Living Quilt, which was launched last week by the Southern AIDS Coalition and Test For Life as an effort to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic among women in the Southern U.S., particularly minorities. The Southern AIDS Living Quilt initiative will feature videos about women affected by the disease and highlight the disproportionate effect of HIV/AIDS on women. The project also will provide information about testing and prevention measures (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 10/20). Summaries of the articles appear below.
New Orleans Times-Picayune: The Living Quilt Web site features video interviews of women living with HIV/AIDS in the South, including New Orleans, where women make up about one-third of the 3,500 people living with HIV/AIDS. Women also accounted for 67% of the new HIV cases reported last year in the city. According to the Times-Picayune, although the number of women living with HIV/AIDS in New Orleans has increased dramatically since the 1990s, there still is a stigma associated with the disease. According to the Times-Picayune, the "growing community of HIV-positive women has stayed mostly silent, a sharp contrast with the city's gay community, where being openly HIV-positive has become more accepted" (Reckdahl, New Orleans Times-Picayune, 10/29).
- Raleigh News & Observer: According to the News & Observer, 80% of HIV cases diagnosed among women in North Carolina last year were recorded among blacks, Hispanics and American Indians. Although men still account for a large number of HIV/AIDS cases, an "often hidden epidemic is taking place among women," according to the News & Observer. Evelyn Foust, director of North Carolina's communicable disease branch, said that the state's rural history and pockets of poverty make it difficult to access health care and address HIV/AIDS. In addition, Foust said that the state should do more to address the stigma attached to the disease and make testing uniformly routine. Although a new state policy makes testing for women routine during pelvic exams, it has not been uniformly adopted across the state, according to the News & Observer (Avery, Raleigh News & Observer, 10/29).