H.I.V.'s Grip on the American South

April 10, 2014 - The New Yorker.

By Sarah Stillman

One night after midnight in 2012, Deon Haywood was sitting at home, in New Orleans, watching TV and having a drink, when she got a phone call. The owner of her office building was on the line.

"There's been a fire," he said.

Haywood ran out to her car and drove to North Jefferson Davis Parkway, to the stout gray building that housed Women with a Vision, a community nonprofit she runs, which does H.I.V.-prevention work and other forms of advocacy geared toward women of color. In Louisiana, the death rate from AIDS is nearly twice the national average. Women with a Vision, founded in 1991, survived Hurricane Katrina, and kept pursuing what public-health workers term "harm reduction" long after many AIDS-minded funders moved their money abroad. Haywood and her staff stashed condoms, sex-education materials, and other work supplies at their office, although it's not where they spent most of their time—much of their real work takes place in the streets, through outreach and education. Now, as Haywood pulled up, it wasn't clear how much of the office would be left. Continue reading...

 

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