National Latino AIDS Awareness Day was held on October 15th for the tenth consecutive year.
This year’s theme was “Hispanics United to End AIDS,” which reflects the impact of the illness on the Latino community in the U.S.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Latinos accounted for 20% of new HIV infections in 2009, the most recent year the data was available. Furthermore, the CDC believes that at least 18,000 Latinos with AIDS have died in the U.S. since the epidemic began States and its dependent areas. In 2009, nearly 3,300 Hispanic/Latino individuals with AIDS died.
“HIV continues to pose a serious health threat to Latino communities in the United States. If we hope to end the United States epidemic, we must stem the spread of HIV among Latinos—the nation’s fastest growing ethnic population,” said Donna McCree, associate director for health equity at the CDC, according to VOXXI. “Each of us has a role to play,” she added.
According to the CDC gay and bisexual men are most affected by HIV among the Latino population, accounting for 64% of the 9400 new HIV infections among Latinos in 2009. Another group with disproportionate numbers of HIV infections are African-American and Latino youth in urban areas, a phenomena that is explored in the following film via YouTube user tchalko:
Guillermo Chacon, President of the Latino Commission on AIDS, wrote in a recent Fox News Latino op/ed piece that “limited access to (HIV) testing, prevention education and care, language and cultural barriers, and immigration issues” are all factors that contributed to the disparity in HIV cases among Latinos in areas such as New York City.
“We need to pursue initiatives that will help them learn their status, get life-saving treatments, and learn how to avoid infecting others,” added Chacon. How to accomplish said initiatives will surely be a difficult goal but a necessary one in order to make serious inroads against HIV/AIDS among Latinos.
Video Source– YouTube via user tchalko
Online Sources – VOXXI, Fox News Latino, Centers for Disease Control