Friday, May 24, 2024

Latinos Stand Against AIDS Stigma and Deadly Statistics

Latino leaders and advocates are gathering this week in Washington, D.C. for the 19th International AIDS Conference to discuss prevention, treatment, and empowerment.

“Latinos are the fastest growing and youngest population in the United States – we’re the ones who need to lead the effort and work towards an AIDS-free generation,” explains Francisco Ruiz, the chair of the National Latino AIDS Action Network (NLAAN). “And now, with the first AIDS conference in the United States in 22 years, we Latinos who are here are in a great position to take the message back to our communities and mobilize towards our goal.”

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, Latinos are nearly three times more likely to be diagnosed with AIDS than non-Hispanic whites, and they are more likely to be tested late due to the stigma attached to AIDS in the Latino community. Mortality statistics show that Latino males were 2.3 times more likely to die of AIDS than their non-Latino White peers, while Latinas were 3.4 times more likely to die from the disease.

“The culture is very macho and a lot of people that have HIV being Latino have a problem of accepting or even disclosing that they’re HIV positive because of the stigma,” said Juan Pedro Cano, a counselor at the Resource Center Dallas clinic that focuses on prevention and testing in the Latino community Cano.


NBC Latino