Latino people represented 17 percent of new U.S. HIV infections in 2006. An upcoming study by Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in North Carolina will determine whether a lack of trust in the health care system is contributing to a higher mortality rate among this group, the Winston-Salem Journal reports. The two-year study, funded by the Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR), begins in September.

“There are a number of different things that are affecting the attitudes and opinions toward medicine of the Latino community,” said the study's lead investigator, Scott Rhodes. “This study will give us a sense of all the variables that are affecting the trust or mistrust of medicine. From there, we can develop means to build trust and better communicate the value of medical treatment to Hispanics with HIV and preventive methods for those at risk of contracting HIV.”

According to the article, previous studies have shown that factors such as low incomes, lack of health insurance, lack of preventive care and lack of communication are adversely affecting the health of Latino people.