In 2015, the Southernmost states had the highest death rate of newly diagnosed AIDS cases in the country. Those states now account for 49% of people living with HIV/AIDS, despite making up just 37% of the national population, according to the research published in theJournal of Community Health.Researchers also found the region has the lowest five-year survival rate for new AIDS diagnoses in the country – nearly a third of those diagnosed with AIDS in 2003-04 died within five years of being told they were infected. In cities such as Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Columbia, South Carolina, for example, the researchers found there was good medical care available, but that factors including “stigma, poverty, and lack of insurance” were contributing to high death rates from HIV/AIDS. More recently in poor midwestern towns such as, Austin, Indiana, widespread drug use led to the single largest outbreak of HIV in the USA history. Not surprisingly, the estimated median household income in Austin is $33,000, about $15,000 less than that for Indiana.
Hegemonic racism, classism, and sexism all play a systemic role in allowing the medical-industrial complex to pursue the AIDS war. If this virus were to had hit CIS affluent white communities, I believe that today we would have better prevention and treatment, perhaps even a cure that is not privately copyrighted. Instead we have created an industry of prescription drugs that accomplish no more than slowing down the virus in hope to extend life expectancy. According to John Lauritsen, the author of The AIDS War: Propaganda, Profiteering and Genocide from the Medical-Industrial Complex, “The AIDS epidemic is an epidemic of lies, through which hundreds of thousands of people have died and are dying unnecessarily, billions of dollars have gone down the drain, the Public Health Service has disgraced itself, and Science has plunged into whoredom.” In the course of his book, Lauritsen explains why he employed the metaphor of war: the terrible suffering and loss of life, propaganda, censorship, rumors, hysteria, profiteering, espionage, and sabotage. In this way, it justifies the biomedical model with its accent on “finding a cure” as opposed to immediate prevention and equitable treatment.
Here is a pretty good video summarizing the history and some of the activism being done today to fight the AIDS war.