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Staying Alive in the Rural South - James Hamblin - The Atlantic


Stashed in: Florida!, Mississippi, New Orleans, Georgia, Alabama

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Dr. Bronwen Lichtenstein at the University of Alabama, who teaches a course called Sociology of HIV/AIDS, has been outspoken in deconstructing social stigma surrounding HIV in the rural South. She describes it involving not only the aforementioned homophobia and denial of the epidemic, but also deep-seated distrust of mainstream medicine among African American communities, as an echo of the Tuskegee experiments, that still manifests as reluctance toward HIV testing and treatment.

Biagiotti saw recurring themes among many people she interviewed. As she told me, "Their lives followed a pattern: some kind of sexual abuse or childhood trauma, then a period of sexual ambiguity, HIV infection, attempted suicide, and then isolation ... So many people told me similar stories, unbeknownst to them that there's anyone out there like them."

The downside of the South's dualities...

Is there an upside to the South's dualities?

Every Schwartz has 2 sides.... I figure every South must also...  thinking about it tho... not so sure... lol

There's also the difficulties of quality of care in the rural South.  One of my closest friends, who was recently in a car accident, had an ER doctor who didn't care for that newfangled MRI machine and wanted to do exploratory surgery for a possible ruptured bowel, like it's still 1962 or something.  Also, this same friend, being HIV Positive, cannot find adequate or even competent HIV care, being prescribed ancient treatments like plain AZT, or given wholly discredited advice like being told to gain fat weight to hide lipodystrophy (which he doesn't have), or being refused (incl. even to the point of bullying, homophobic comments and police being called) treatment due to his status.

How long ago was that? I was in Mississippi recently and it has modernized a lot.

about 2 weeks before I posted it here.... so.. hella recently... in SW Virginia.

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