Monday, November 30, 2020

AIDS on Among Latinos on the Rise

Officials are urged to enact educational programs and services aimed specifically at Latinos in order to prevent new cases…

“Officials need to stop downplaying or ignoring what’s happening among Latinos,” said Oscar De La O, president of Bienestar, a Latino service organization. “We are at the center of the storm.”

Even with the United States embroiled in a fierce debate over immigration policy, the problem of AIDS in Latinos had received scant attention from political and public health officials. At the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where only two of 17 approved HIV programs target Hispanic Americans, officials have added Spanish-language hotlines, confidential testing sites and other initiatives aimed at filling the gap.

Though Hispanics make up about 14 percent of the U.S. population, they represented 22 percent of new HIV and AIDS diagnoses tallied by federal officials in 2006. According to a survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation, Hispanics in the District have the highest rate of new AIDS cases in the country.

So far, the toll of AIDS in the nation’s largest and fastest-growing minority population has mostly been overshadowed by the epidemic among African Americans and gay white men. Yet in major U.S. cities, as many as 1 in 4 gay Hispanic men has HIV, a rate on par with sub-Saharan Africa.

Washington Post