What are your chances of getting HIV and surviving if you live, let’s say, in Philadelphia’s ZIP code of 19143? Well, this location is one of the areas in the United States that’s most heavily affected by HIV.  What’s more, according to statistics, 50 percent of all people living with HIV are located in 12 cities: Philadelphia, New York, Baltimore, Tampa, Miami, Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Washington, DC.

The reason for such a high concentration of the virus within these cities is because race and poverty place residents in certain neighborhoods at higher risk of contracting HIV. “People of color are disproportionately impacted, and their risk of infection is a function not just of behavior but of where they live and the testing and treatment resources in their communities,” says Amy Nunn, ScD, MS, an assistant professor of behavioral and social sciences at Brown University’s School of Public Health.

Studies show that people in these locations are less likely to be tested and treated for HIV.

Says Nunn: That’s why “we should be rolling out testing and treatment services and positive social marketing messages en masse in these communities.”