Washington, D.C. October, 2017.- ASPIRA, National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA), League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA), AIDS United Hispanic Radio Network and Pinyon Foundation, in alliance with the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) have come together to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and stigma. On October 15, 2017, we will observe the National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day acknowledging how important it is to understand our risk factors as Latinx and how we can prevent and treat HIV/AIDS.
The Latinx community is over-represented in HIV/AIDS rates. According to CDC (2015), Latinxs accounted for 24% of all new cases of HIV in the United States, despite representing about 18% of the total US population. Of those new cases, 87% were men, and 12% were women. Also in 2015, 916 Latinx deaths were attributed directly to HIV. In 2014, it was estimated that 235,600 Latinx were living with HIV in the United States and roughly 17% were undiagnosed. Among people age 50 and over with HIV, Latinx accounted for 17%. In 2015, Latinx accounted for 21% of the total number of AIDS cases (18,274). People ages 25-34 accounted for 30% of AIDS cases.
Stigma is a significant issue in our society that can impede people from getting tested and getting access to care. Stigma also contributes to a lack of openness related to HIV, including fear, discrimination and homophobia, all of which are barriers. Moreover, poverty, migration patterns, education, and language barriers may also make it harder for Latinxs to get HIV testing and care. Latinxs without papers may be less likely to use HIV prevention services, get an HIV test, and seek treatment because of concerns about being arrested and deported. Therefore, it is so important for Latinx to understand HIV and how we can prevent/treat it. In conclusion, on National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day we are having different informative and preventive activities to talk about HIV/AIDS, specifically testing, risk factors, and stigma. Join us to learn more about HIV/AIDS and what you can do to stop HIV.