Apparently, the Centers for Disease Control has decided to completely ignore the science of what they do and to fully embrace the politics of the Left.
In their May 2016 Issue Brief, the CDC wrote about the HIV “Epidemic” in the South. Apparently, Southern states today account for about 44% of all people living with HIV in the USA, even though only 37% of the nation’s population resides in the South. Now, to me, a statistical difference of 7% doesn’t seem that large, especially when you consider the mass migration to the South that is currently taking place. As middle-aged Northerners flee the cold (and socialism) in the Northeast, their most likely destination continues to be the Sunbelt of states in our nation’s South. Or perhaps the fact that two of the nation’s “gay friendliest” cities are also two of the most important cities in the South – Asheville, NC and Atlanta, GA.
But the CDC seems to believe that this statistical difference, which seems to show that homosexuals in the South are more likely to have HIV, is due not to any concrete factor like demographic change, or greater economic opportunity. No, instead the CDC thinks the problem for homosexuals in the South is that Southerners are racist homophobes.
I kid you not.
Cultural factors may also play a key role. Issues such as homophobia and transphobia, racism, and general discomfort with public discussion of sexuality may be more widespread in the South and can lead to higher levels of stigma, which may limit people’s willingness to seek HIV testing, care, or prevention services. These challenges can also limit access to accurate sexual health information, which people need to protect themselves from infection.
Honestly, the CDC is just being lazy and exploiting a trope that anyone with knowledge of today’s Southern culture knows is just wrong.
If the CDC believes that folks in the South are en masse treating homosexuals so poorly that thousands of them would prefer risking disease and death rather than going to a local clinic or pharmacy to be tested… then I would like to suggest that you, CDC, and not Southerners, are the bigots.
The truth is that in the South we treat everyone with kindness, consideration, and Sweet Tea. Just because the folks in New York, LA, and Washington, D.C. like to pretend that our heritage, culture, and religious values make us bigoted, hateful, and violent, doesn’t mean that we’re actually as they portray us. Just like it would be ridiculous of us in the South to believe that every New Yorker is rude, every Los Angelino is self-absorbed, or every DC resident is corrupt.
The CDC should be ashamed of this suggestion, and they should go back to focusing on hard science rather than corrupting their research with politicized liberal assumptions.
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