Reducing the Incidence of HIV among Hispanics/Latinos

By Luther Virgil

10/18/16

As many of you may be aware, Saturday, October 15th was National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day (NLAAD).  NLAAD, coordinated by the Latino Commission on AIDS, is held each year to increase awareness of the impact of HIV/AIDS on the Hispanic/Latino population in the United States. Overall, NLAAD was created to promote HIV testing and prevention, and provides information on access to care to Hispanic/Latino communities across the nation.

In support of NLAAD, while researching data about HIV in the Hispanic population on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website, I discovered the following information, “Despite recent progress in reducing HIV among Hispanic/Latina women, Hispanics/Latinos continue to be disproportionately affected by HIV. In 2014, Hispanics/Latinos accounted for 24% of all HIV diagnoses in the United States and 6 dependent areas, while representing only 17% of the US population. From 2005 to 2014, HIV diagnoses declined 4% among all Hispanics/Latinos, but trends varied among subgroups. For example, diagnoses among young Hispanic/Latino gay and bisexual men (aged 13 to 24) increased 87% over this time period, though the trend has slowed in recent years, increasing 16% from 2010 to 2014. If current trends continue, an estimated 1 in 48 Hispanic/Latino men, including 1 in 4 Hispanic/Latino gay and bisexual men, and 1 in 227 Hispanic/Latina women will be diagnosed with HIV at some point in their lifetime.”

There are a number of things that we can do to reduce the spread of HIV in the Hispanics/Latino communities.  They include:

  1. Increased awareness- get the facts out
  2. Increased testing- identify those infected
  3. Increased prevention- stop the transmission
  4. Increased treatment resources- early initiation of care and continuous treatment
  5. Increased funding- to help ensure that all of the above are possible