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Memphis: One of 33 cities that make up 58 percent of nation's HIV epidemic

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The Bluff City is one of 33 cities that make up 58 percent of the nation's HIV epidemic. (Source: WMC Action News 5 Chopper 5) The Bluff City is one of 33 cities that make up 58 percent of the nation's HIV epidemic. (Source: WMC Action News 5 Chopper 5)
MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC) - On National HIV Testing Day, alarming numbers are revealing the number of Memphians living with HIV.

The Bluff City is one of 33 cities that make up 58 percent of the nation's HIV epidemic.

Dr. Patrick Sullivan is a professor of epidemiology at Emory University in Atlanta. He is one of the leading researchers of AIDSVu, a study of HIV epidemics in the United States.

"There are actually a number of zip codes in the Memphis maps that are sort of in the highest 10 percent of zip codes among the cities we map in AIDSVu.

According to the research, 83 percent of all people living with HIV/AIDS in Shelby County are African-American. The data, broken down by all 33 zip codes in Shelby County, indicate the highest HIV/AIDS rate is in the 38105 area.

"One thing that we see in Memphis that's also true in the rest of the U.S. is that communities of color are really disproportionately impacted," Sullivan said. "When you compare the distribution of HIV concentration to things like poverty, lack of insurance, there's a strong correlation between those two."

Dr. Sullivan is calling for more education on HIV prevention and early testing, so new medications can work more effectively.

"Memphis is important part of the epidemic," he added. "It's part of a southern epidemic that's really getting a lot of attention and the one step people can take right now is find a place to test today."

Tennessee Department of Health provided free HIV/AIDS testing Friday and Saturday at various Walgreens locations in Memphis.

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