HIV on the Rise in the South
Pharmacists can also help find HIV assistance programs for patients who need help financially.
New HIV cases among gay men are more likely to stem from the South than any other region in the United States.
On an individual level, these findings may encourage pharmacists in southern states to think more aggressively about providing information about pre-exposure prophylaxis.
Pharmacists can also help patients who have already been infected with HIV by optimizing their pharmacologic therapy so that it is tailored to their needs. This will help promote adherence, lessen adverse reactions, and decrease drug resistance.
Pharmacists can also help find assistance programs for patients who need help financially.
New research from the Williams Institute showed that 35% of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals live in the South, while 20% of LGBT individuals live in the Midwest, 19% in the Northeast, 17% in the Pacific region, and 8% in the Mountain region.
In addition to seeing higher rates of new HIV infections, members of the southern LGBT population are more likely to not have health insurance compared with similar populations in other regions of the country. They also face greater obstacles in terms of employment protections.
LGBT individuals in the South are also more likely to make less than $24,000 a year and to report that they cannot afford food or health care.
On a positive note, public support for the LGBT population has increases in every state in the South since the early 2000s.
To arrive at these conclusions, researchers at the Williams Institute, which conducts LGBT-centered studies, compiled fact sheets about LGBT demographics and discrimination in the South.
For example, the researchers’ findings on Texas included the fact that the state is home to 600,000 LGBT adults and 46,000 same-sex couples. Polls found that 79% of transgender individuals had been harassed or mistreated in the workplace, and 45% had not been hired.
Notably, almost 80% of Texans reported that they believed LGBT individuals experienced discrimination in the state.