New Map Shows AIDS Epidemic In Memphis

New Map Shows AIDS Epidemic In Memphis

You can see how many people in Memphis have the virus, even how many in your neighborhood. The map tracks by zip code.
MEMPHIS, TN (localmemphis.com)-- We are getting an in-depth look at how HIV and AIDS affect the Mid-South.

An Atlanta doctor created a map of how many people have the virus in 20 US cities. The map focuses on cities with the highest rates of HIV and AIDS.

Memphis made the list and it shows very specific information.

You can see how many people in Memphis have the virus, even how many in your neighborhood. The map tracks by zip code.

Creators hope it is used as a tool for prevention and to show the importance of getting tested.

It's called AIDSVu. More than one million Americans are living with HIV. An estimated one in five people who have it don't know it.

"Approximately 2,000 ppl in Memphis are unaware," says Cedric Robinson. He works with Shelby County's Health Department.

"What we're seeing is the number is really high among the men who have sex with men and the African-American population."

AIDSVu breaks it down by zip code and population, looking at every 100,000 people.

It's color coded dark to light. The dark purple shows the highest rates, which are in Memphis' core.

In North Memphis, in the city's 38105 zip code, more than 5200 people are living with an HIV or AIDS diagnosis.

Numbers steadily decline the more you travel outside the city.

"You can't just look at map and say because I don't live in this zip code I'm not affected by HIV," Robinson says. "In this city people tend to live in one area and stay in another area."

Robinson adds the map is a good tool for the health department to use and those living with the virus.

"It also gives information on places where people can get condoms and places where they can get testing free."

He says testing is easy. "We're just doing a swab. We're not drawing blood." Results are ready in 20 minutes.

They're hoping more people will use tools like this map to prevent the virus from spreading any more.

Robinson says Memphis is holding steady. HIV cases aren't increasing, but they aren't decreasing either. The city averages about 300 to 500 new cases every year.

If you want to check the map out go to: http://aidsvu.org/.
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