Michelle Southern reporting.
According to new data released by the Centers for Disease Control, Baton Rouge has moved from #1 to #2 in new rankings of AIDS cases. The Capital City dropped behind Atlanta after having the highest rate in the country according to the CDC.
Reverend AJ Johnson, CEO and Founder of the Baton Rouges AIDS society, says this is not a significant drop.
"It's impossible for me to get excited about going from #1 to #2," said Johnson. "I would love if we went from first place to last place."
The data, which is based on 2012 numbers, indicates there were 27.5 AIDS cases per 100,000 people down from 29.4 the year prior. Johnson says there is a massive lack of education on this matter in the area and not enough people getting tested.
"And we have so many people that have NEVER been tested for HIV," said Johnson. "Not only are people refusing to get tested, they're refusing to talk about it."
The CDC says New Orleans was ranked fourth in the nation. Johnson says local HIV/AIDS organizations are working hard to continue to educate people about the disease and encouraging them to get tested. He says nobody can hide from HIV.
"This is not just something that happens to prostitutes, gay men or drug users," said Johnson. "If you've had sex, have sex or ever plan on having sex again in your life, you need to know about HIV and you need to protect yourself."