AIDSVu Recognizes National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day

October 15 is National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day (NLAAD). This year’s theme, “Ending HIV is at your fingertips,” focuses on the tools already available to address the HIV epidemic, like HIV testing, PrEP, condom use, HIV treatment, and U=U, as we are dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Historically, HIV has disproportionately impacted Hispanic/Latinx Americans, and a broad range of factors such as language barriers, immigration status concerns, lower levels of formal education, homophobia, stigma, and discrimination have contributed to lower rates of HIV testing, higher rates of late HIV diagnoses, and decreased access to necessary medical care.

In 2018, only 47% of Hispanic/Latinx individuals reported having ever been tested for HIV. In the same year, Hispanic/Latinx people had the highest percent (22%) of people diagnosed late with HIV (individuals who develop AIDS within 3 months of their initial HIV diagnosis), putting them at risk for worse health outcomes. Furthermore, Hispanic/Latinx individuals report a lower viral suppression rate (64%) compared to White individuals (71%), which also negatively impacts health outcomes and quality of life and increases the risk of transmitting HIV to sexual partners.

Though HIV impacts Hispanic/Latinx people across the country, the top five states with the highest number of new HIV diagnoses among the Hispanic/Latinx community in 2018 were California, Texas, Florida, New York, and New Jersey.