Poor, Gay, Black, and Southern: America’s Hidden H.I.V. Crisis

Longreads

Ground zero in the AIDS crisis happened on June 5th, 1981, when the C.D.C.’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report identified five cases of pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) in previously healthy white men in Los Angeles. The sixth case — a gay African-American man who had contracted PCP and cytomegalovirus — went undocumented. That critical omission has had a horrific ripple effect in the southern United States where the “Centers for Disease Control and Prevention…predicted that if current rates continue, one in two African-American gay and bisexual men will be infected with the virus.”

In this in-depth report at The New York Times Magazine, Linda Villarosa follows Cedric Sturdevant, who overcame his own despair over H.I.V. to help young black men in some of the poorest counties in the South manage their H.I.V. diagnoses so that they might live healthy, productive lives.

As he stepped into Jordon’s stuffy bedroom, Sturdevant’s eyes…

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