Today is National Latino Aids Awareness Day in the United States. This is an important day to raise awareness about how the HIV epidemic continues to disproportionately affect the Hispanic/Latino community.
While Hispanics make up 15% of the population of the United States, they account for 20% of new HIV cases.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 18,000 Hispanics/Latinos with AIDS have died in the United States and its dependent areas. In 2009, nearly 3,300 Hispanic/Latino individuals with AIDS died.
“Among Hispanics/Latinos, gay and bisexual men are most affected by HIV, accounting for 64% of the 9,400 new HIV infections among Latinos in 2009.
The impact of HIV on Hispanics/Latinos is not directly related to race or ethnicity, but rather to harsh realities and challenges faced by some communities, including lower awareness of HIV status, poverty, access to care, stigma, migration, acculturation (the process of adopting the cultural traits or social patterns of another group) and homophobia.
The National HIV/AIDS Strategy calls for prioritizing prevention efforts in the populations where HIV is most heavily concentrated and for alleviating racial and ethnic disparities, like those documented among Hispanics/Latinos. To achieve the strategy’s goals, CDC is implementing High-Impact Prevention a new approach designed to maximize available HIV prevention resources and have the greatest impact on the U.S. HIV epidemic.”