The LGBTQ+ Latinx community is at higher risk for HIV than the rest of the Latinx community, and the Latino Commission on AIDS is here to fix that.
Today, October 15 is National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day. The theme, “Ending HIV is Everyone’s Job” is a reminder that everyone plays an important role in educating the community and helping eradicate the deadly virus from the LGBTQ+ community.
Though diagnoses have remained stable in the Latinx community, HIV has increased by 13 percent among gay and bisexual Latino men. In 2016, over 10,000 member of the Latinx community received an HIV diagnosis, representing 26 percent of the 40,324 new HIV diagnoses in the United States at the time. Over 250,000 Hispanics and Latinos are living with HIV, and only half have achieved viral suppression. This can sometimes be attributed to socioeconomic and language-related challenges that prevent HIV-positive patients stay in care long enough to reach viral suppression, according to the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Promoting access to comprehensive medical and supportive services for those in HIV care can help prevent new HIV infections.
The Center for Disease Control is committed to preventing new HIV infections among Hispanics/Latinos and improving the health and well-being of those with HIV by:
- Funding for state and local health departments to conduct HIV surveillance and prevention programs across the United States, as well as interventions that reach those populations most affected by HIV, including Hispanics/Latinos.
- Funding biomedical approaches to HIV prevention such as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), and antiretroviral therapy (ART) to protect the health of people with HIV and prevent transmission.
- Providing Hispanics/Latinos with HIV prevention and treatment messages through Act Against AIDS. For example, Let’s Stop HIV Together (Detengamos Juntos el VIH) raises awareness about HIV and fights stigma; Doing It (Lo Estoy Haciendo / La Prueba del VIH) encourages all adults to get tested for HIV and know their status; HIV Treatment Works (El Tratamiento del VIH es Efectivo) shows how people living with HIV have overcome barriers to stay in care and provides resources on how to live well with HIV; and Start Talking. Stop HIV. (Inicia la Conversación. Detén el VIH.) helps gay and bisexual men communicate about safer sex, testing, and other HIV prevention issues.
Together we can protect the health of Hispanic/Latino communities. As a partner in HIV prevention, you play an essential role in this effort, and we look forward to continuing our strong collaboration to achieve a future free of new HIV infections.
APLA Health is hosting a National Latino AIDS Awareness Day event today, Oct. 15 from 3–6 p.m. at the APLA Health Education Center (3741 S. La Brea Ave., L.A.) to help spread awareness regarding HIV within the Latinx community. For tickets and information, click HERE.