The Bulletin—March 5, 2013
The Bulletin compiles news from in and around the US South. We hope these posts will provide space for lively discussion and debate regarding issues of importance to those living in and intellectually engaging with the US South.
- On March 3, 2013, doctors announced that a baby born in rural Mississippi had been "functionally cured" of HIV infection. The case is groundbreaking because the mother did not undergo prenatal care to prevent her baby’s infection. The baby, now two-and-a-half years old, received antiretroviral drugs thirty hours after birth. The baby continued to undergo treatment for eighteen months; the mother then stopped giving the child medication. Five months later, the mother returned with the baby and, upon performing tests, doctors discovered no trace of HIV in the baby. As The New York Times reported, transmission of HIV from mother to baby is rare in the United States, about two hundred cases per year, as mothers generally receive prenatal care to prevent transmission. This is the second reported case of a person cured of HIV. The first was a middle-aged male named Timothy Brown, who was cured in 2007 as a result of bone-marrow transplant from a "donor genetically resistant to HIV infection." The New York Times also stated that, if this practice is demonstrated to work with other newborns, it will be widely recommended for use around the world.
- Marco McMillian, an openly gay African American mayoral candidate in Clarksdale, Mississippi, was found murdered on Wednesday, February 27, 2013. The body of the Democratic candidate was discovered near the base of the Mississippi River after having been missing for a day. The next day, a suspect named Lawrence Reed was arrested. While the victim's family claims that the murder was "not a random act of violence," officials are not investigating the murder as a hate crime. As the Chicago Tribune reported, McMillian was "one of the first viable, openly gay" candidates in the state.
- On February 7, 2013, one hundred forty-eight years after the state received the Thirteenth Amendment from Congress, the state of Mississippi finally ratified the amendment that outlaws slavery. As reported in the Washington Times, the ratification was inspired by the movie, Lincoln. After watching the film, a citizen looked into the history of the state’s ratification of the amendment. He then discovered that, while the Legislature voted to ratify the amendment in 1995, the documentation was never sent to the United States archivist and thus was never officially ratified.