Today is World AIDS Day, a day dedicated to drawing attention to AIDS, it’s prevention, treatment, and how it impacts all of our daily lives and how it impacts globally. For Latino communities inside the U.S., AIDS presents its owns challenges. Here are some stats from the Latino Commission on AIDS:
Latinos in the United States and HIV/AIDS
As the largest minority group in the U.S., Hispanics are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS. In 2006, Hispanics comprised 15% of the U.S. population or 44.3 million people, yet represented 18% of the HIV/AIDS cases that same year, among 33 states with a name-based reporting, excluding Puerto Rico. Among Hispanics/Latinos, males had a higher AIDS rate (per 100,000) of 31.3, than females, 9.5.
Latina Women and HIV/AIDS
For Hispanic/Latina women living with HIV/AIDS, the most common methods of HIV transmission are: 1) high-risk heterosexual contact and 2) injection drug use (IDU).In 2005, the majority of Latinas living with HIV/AIDS were infected through heterosexual contact-approximately 70% of Latinas.
Latino Men who have sex with men (MSM)
For Latino men living with HIV, the most common mode of transmission is sexual contact with another man. At the end of 2005, 57% of all Hispanics living with HIV/AIDS in the U.S reported male-to-male sexual contact as the transmission category, compared to 49% among Blacks and 77% among non-Hispanic Whites.
Latinos, Drug Use, and HIV/AIDS
Communities of Color in the U.S. are most heavily affected by AIDS associated with substance use. At the end of 2006 in 33 states with confidential name-based reporting, 14,427 male adult or adolescent Hispanics living with HIV/AIDS became infected through injecting drugs with HIV contaminated needles, representing 23% of Hispanic males living with HIV/AIDS.
Latino Youth and HIV/AIDS
Hispanic/Latino adolescents in the U.S. face unique obstacles that help account for their disproportionately high rate of HIV infection. Hispanic/Latino teens aged 13-19 accounted for 19% of AIDS cases among U.S. teens in 2006 although they represented 17% of the U.S. teen population that same year.
Do you know your HIV status? How do you stay healthy?
I know my status and get tested regularly, not just for my sexual partners (or potential partners), not just for my family, but for myself. I discuss sexual health with my kids (yes even the younger one) so they don’t grow up thinking that talking about and acting on behalf of a healthy whole self is taboo.
Please share resources, information, and knowledge.