OWN
06/26/2014 10:13 am ET | Updated Jun 26, 2014

Lisa Ling Investigates The Rising Rate Of HIV In Washington, D.C.'s Poorest Wards (VIDEO)

Daphnie is a 56-year-old woman in Washington, D.C. who has been living with HIV for nearly two decades. In the district's poorest wards, HIV infection rates are soaring among straight, black women.

In an effort to understand why, Lisa Ling talks with Daphnie and her mother about the disease, which disproportionately affects black Americans. In the above "Our America with Lisa Ling" video, she asks the women why they think HIV is so pervasive in their community.

Daphnie, who now works as a case manager at an organization that provides resources to women with HIV and AIDS, and says healthcare is an issue. "You don't have a lot of blacks who go regular to get checkup," she says. "That doesn't happen."

Another woman who works in a D.C. public health clinic tells Ling that when her clinic offered free testing, the stigma surrounding HIV stopped many people from getting tested. "They didn't want other people to know they were being tested for it," she says.

Daphnie's mother believes the stigma centers around a lack of education. "I myself was uneducated and I did not become educated until my daughter got sick, which I’m ashamed to say," she says.

"Our America with Lisa Ling" explores the silent spread of HIV on Thursday, June 26 at 10 p.m. ET on OWN.

CONVERSATIONS