About this Series

Growing up in Georgia, Abraham Johnson and his friends had the run of the quiet streets in their small town. But there was one house in their neighborhood that every kid knew better than to go near. No one ever saw her, but rumor had it that the woman who lived there had AIDS. People made sure to put a safe distance between themselves and AIDS—whatever that was.

The day that Abraham learned that he himself was HIV-positive, fear overwhelmed him. He put a Bible in his backpack, hoping it would be heavy enough to drag him to the bottom of the Wilmington River near Savannah.

In rural settings across the United States, stigma isolates young sexual and gender minority patients like Abraham and deprives them of information about risk, protection, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), testing, and the effectiveness of HIV treatment. In the United States today, gay and bisexual men account for more than two thirds of new HIV diagnoses, and the fastest-growing group among them are young black men.

Infectious disease experts and human behavior scientists from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, have teamed up to develop methods to engage minority youth in innovative strategies to decrease at-risk behavior and improve adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART).

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