In Mississippi, organizations have been supplying testing and information resources to combat the ongoing HIV epidemic in rural areas of the state. With over 2,300 cases from 2015 to 2019, Mississippi has one of the highest HIV rates in the country.

From the story on Mississippi Public Broadcasting: “Dr. James Brock is an infectious disease specialist at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. His focus is on HIV treatment, and has worked on several clinical trials for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. He says the lack of medical resources in rural areas of the state makes it more difficult for residents to seek the care they need.

“If you live in a rural area you might have to drive to an adjacent county to get free testing. At home testing typically requires having to pay out of pocket for a test,” says Dr. Brock. “Mississippi is full of small towns and so if you go to a local testing site there’s a concern you might be seen there and disclosed that you’re seeking HIV testing.”

While the LGBTQ+ community continues to be the largest demographic affected by HIV in Mississippi, Dr. Brock says other minority groups are also at a higher risk of contracting HIV and having severe outcomes.”

To read the rest of the story on MPB, click here.