The CDC’s most recent HIV Surveillance Report contains the first-ever comprehensive data set allowing researchers to map HIV infections across the entire country. As the agency explains, their new data paints a “complete picture of diagnosed HIV infection in the U.S.,” revealing potential trends in infections across different regions. At least one clear trend emerges among Southern states, where the concentration of HIV infections tend to be higher:
It’s likely no coincidence that many of those same states lack the comprehensive sexual education requirements that would help educate their residents about HIV transmission from an early age. Health classes in Texas, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Mississippi, and Louisiana aren’t required to provide any kind of medically accurate information about HIV. And in two of those states — Texas and Florida — public schools don’t have to offer any type of sexual health education whatsoever.