Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Tennessee HIV infection rates some of the best of the worst


MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  A new report says the highest rate of HIV infection among homosexual men is highest in the American South, but Tennessee seems to be bucking that trend.

Researchers at Emory University in Atlanta recently compiled a study detailing rates of HIV infection down to the county level across the country. Study coauthor Dr. Jeremy Grey says Tennessee’s largest cities are doing relatively well.

“We found that most of the highest prevalence areas were in the South, but in Tennessee the cities are about in the middle. They’re not low prevalence, but they’re not the very high prevalence cities we’ve seen elsewhere in the South.”

Among Tennessee’s largest cities, Memphis has the highest HIV rate among gay men with 14 men out of 100 diagnosed with infection. Nashville has the lowest at 9 out of 100.

Among Tennessee’s neighboring states, only Kentucky has a lower rate. Jackson, Mississippi reports 40 percent of gay male residents are HIV infected.

By comparison, the states of the north-central plains all report infection rates below five percent.

Dr. Grey says he and his study coauthors hope the new numbers will foster greater prevention efforts.

“Because this is the first time we have these numbers available, we’re hoping for these to be a tool for local public health departments to allocate resources and better target interventions for this group.”

Would you like to review the complete study by the Emory University researchers?