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Despite progress, HIV remains disproportionately Black in Georgia

By Leon Stafford, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Fred Bryant has a recurring problem these days at festivals and community meetings.

Whenever he sets up a table for HIV and AIDS awareness at functions targeting the Black community for health intervention and treatment group Aniz, there are always a couple of people who stop by in hopes of getting a COVID-19 test.

As soon as they discover their mistake, they panic.

“When we’re out in the community setting up our table, people walk by and inquire, ‘Are you guys doing COVID testing?’” he said. “We say, ‘No, we’re doing HIV testing.’ And the reaction is, they want to take off running from the table.”

Forty-one years after the first cases of human immunodeficiency virus were reported, HIV still strikes terror in many people, and it has become a critical problem in Georgia’s Black community.

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