AIDS Crisis in the Latino Community?

AIDS rates in the nation’s Latino community are increasing to the point that they have reached what experts are calling a simmering public health crisis.

An article in today’s Washington Post reports that “AIDS rates in the nation’s Latino community are increasing” to the point that they “have reached what experts are calling a simmering public health crisis.”

The article cites US government statistics revealing that although “Hispanics make up about 14 percent of the US population,” they represented “22 percent of new HIV and AIDS diagnoses” in 2006.

Language difficulties, cultural barriers, issues of legal status, and other factors make the threat of AIDS in the Latino community unique. Another factor that has exacerbated the problem is the relative lack of media, research, and advocacy attention devoted to AIDS in this population. The article notes that only two of 17 approved Centers for Disease Control HIV programs target Hispanic Americans, although officials have “added Spanish-language hotlines, confidential testing sites and other initiatives aimed at filling the gap.”

The Post article also includes several brief profiles that illustrate the challenges and barriers faced by Hispanics in the US living with HIV/AIDS.

Additional Resources

National Latino AIDS Action Network Latino HIV/AIDS Policy Federal Recommendations developed as a result of the National AIDS Summit

Kaiser Family Foundation Latinos and HIV/AIDS Policy Fact Sheet

Latino Commission on AIDS

National Council of La Raza Latino Families HIV/AIDS Prevention Project