October 15 is the close of Hispanic Heritage month and it’s also National LatinX AIDS Awareness Day. According to the Latino Commission on AIDS, the HIV/AIDS cases in Latino communities have reached crisis levels. The number of Latinos with HIV/AIDS accounts for 24% of cases in the U.S and those numbers unfortunately keep climbing up.
Latinos count for 17% of the U.S. population, but they accounted for 24% of all HIV infections in 2014. For over 25 years the Commission has been trying to educate the Latino community, offer free HIV testing, but it’s just not enough. This is what we know so far:
- Every 54 minutes Latino MSM (Men Having Sex With Men) gets an HIV diagnosis
- 28% increase in HIV infection among Latino youth
- Although the CDC (Center For Disease Control and Prevention) reported a decrease in overall cases among Hispanics/Latinos from 2008-2013, infection rates among Hispanic/Latino MSM increased by 16%
- Barriers: Lack of insurance coverage, low education, language barriers, homophobia, unknown HIV status, lack of familiarity with healthcare system