Happy National Latino AIDS Awareness Day!

Posted on 10/15/2012 @ 07:43 PM


Did you know that HIV/AIDS disproportionately affects Latinos? In fact, in 2008, Hispanics/Latinos accounted for more than 19% of the 42,439 new diagnoses of HIV infection in the 37 states and 5 US dependent areas with confidential name-based HIV infection reporting. The rate of new HIV infections among Hispanic/Latino men is more than three times that of white men.

As the number of people living with HIV/AIDS continues to increase, reaching individuals at risk for HIV/AIDS with culturally competent and linguistically appropriate prevention education, HIV testing and treatment is critical. Testing is the essential first step in linking people with HIV to medical care and ongoing support to help them establish and maintain safer behaviors.

In celebration of National Latino AIDS Awareness Day, AIDS.gov wrote the following blog:

AIDS.gov Observes National Latino AIDS Awareness Day: Fostering Communication and Using New Media throughout the Years

By Miguel Gomez, Director, AIDS.gov, and Senior Communications Advisor, Office of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

As we approach National Latino AIDS Awareness Day (NLAAD), I am reminded of work I began in 1991 when I worked full-time with the National Council of La Raza to develop technical assistance for HIV programs serving Latinos.

The impact of HIV on Latinos was profound in the early 1990s. In 1990, according to CDC, the HIV death rate for men aged 25-44 was twice as high for Hispanics as the rate for white men. In particular, among men of Cuban and Puerto Rican origin, HIV infection was the leading cause of death, accounting for approximately 40% of all deaths of Hispanics aged 25-44. HIV death rates were also substantially higher for black and Hispanic women than for women of white and other racial/ethnic groups.

Today, more than 20 years later, HIV continues to have a significant impact on this group, but there is great reason to feel hopeful, particularly with the scientific advances discussed at this summer’s XIX International AIDS Conference that can lead us to an AIDS-free generation.

Each year during Hispanic Heritage Month, NLAAD is observed on October 15 to acknowledge and address this disparity. This year marks the tenth national observance of NLAAD and we at AIDS.gov have been blogging and using new media in support of NLAAD for several of those years. We want to remind our readers of some of our past blog posts addressing the impact of HIV on Hispanic and Latino communities.

In these posts, we’ve heard from many Federal and community leaders about the importance of increased awareness, testing and linkages to care for Hispanic and Latino populations. We’ve also talked and heard about how new media has become a critical part of strategic efforts to reach Hispanics and Latinos with prevention, care and treatment messages.

Here’s a selection of our NLAAD blog posts from years past:

With this year’s observance, we encourage our readers to use new media to join and enrich the conversation on and around NLAAD. Use the hashtag #NLAAD to learn what others are saying on Twitter, subscribe to the AIDS.gov blog and other blogs for regular updates on this and other important issues, post messages on Facebook and other social network sites, and share the HIV/AIDS locator widget to tell someone about HIV testing nearby. We at AIDS.gov will continue to blog about the HIV/AIDS Awareness Days and the use of new media to support the key messages of these observances.


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