Tyler Curry grew up in the South, though after taking a look at his Facebook page or Twitter profile you might think he’s a non-stop traveling man or even a resident of the North. You probably may also have heard of him—some of his highly polarizing essays have graced the front pages of leading national LGBT publications like Huffington Post Gay Voices, The Advocate, and Out.
But this past Saturday Curry was in finishing a quick stop in Music City after traveling across the state from Memphis to interview several individuals in Middle Tennessee about the state of HIV stigma in our region – to culminate in the launch of an original digital docuseries to be hosted on HIVEqual.com and Huffington Post.
“This is groundbreaking for HIV Equal,” shared Curry. “It’s stories in the form of videos.”
And these stories are capturing the very real stigmatization of HIV in the South, and hits on topics that aren’t easily discussed including gender issues, race, sexuality and the role of faith and churches in the conversation of HIV prevention, treatment, and care.
Curry is hoping to document the existence of HIV stigma in the South and why it is helping to maintain this part of the US as the epicenter of the epidemic nationally. According to a recent list of the top 25 cities with the highest HIV infection per capita, “of the top 10, the South has 7 of the cities,” says Curry.
According to these data (a pdf file), by region, both the number of people diagnosed with AIDS and the rate of AIDS diagnoses (number of diagnoses per 100,000 people) is highest in the South (15,855 diagnoses or 13.7 per 100,000 people).
This will be an on-going series, according to Curry, who is the Sr. Editor for HIV Equal Online. “This is just part one. There will be other tours of other cities for more interviews relatively quickly.”
When asked the date of the launch of the docuseries, Curry smiled (with an exhausted look in his face), “the first video will be ready to roll out in 3 weeks.”
O&AN will keep you updated on the series.