published Sunday, July 29th, 2012

Memphis ‘a perfect storm for HIV’

Photo by The Commercial Appeal /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

After he got the call with the test results, Marvell L. Terry II hung up the phone and did something that might seem odd for someone who'd just learned he was HIV-positive.

"I went back to work like nothing happened," the 26-year-old Memphian recalls.

Although he later formed a foundation that assists patients and others in dealing with the virus, Terry attributes his initial reaction — a numbness and unwillingness to face facts — to a stigma prevalent among African-Americans regarding HIV, AIDS and homosexuality. That same attitude, he said, allows the virus to spread unchecked through the community.

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