Latino people living with HIV experience stigma and health care discrimination that could contribute to health disparities. Latinos are disproportionately affected by HIV, accounting for about a quarter of all people living with the virus and 29% of new cases in the United States while making up 19% of the population.

Researchers with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analyzed data collected during 2018 to 2020 from 2,690 HIV-positive Latino adults, mostly men, who participated in the Medical Monitoring Project, an annual study of experiences and outcomes among people living with HIV. Stigma was measured using a 10-item scale that included personalized stigma, disclosure concerns, negative self-image and public attitudes. The survey also asked about seven types of health care discrimination.

Self-reported stigma was common. Up to 78% of those who experienced stigma had concerns about disclosure. Latina women reported more stigma than Latino men, and stigma scores were higher for those who identified their race as American Indian, Native American or Black. Nearly one quarter of participants said they had experienced health care discrimination during the past year. More than 60% of those reporting discrimination said health care providers didn’t listen to them, and 48% felt they were not treated with courtesy or respect. Here, Latina women were less likely than Latino men to report discrimination, and those who identified as Black reported more discrimination.

“HIV stigma and discrimination are human rights issues associated with adverse HIV outcomes,” the study authors wrote. “Eliminating stigma and discrimination, which are barriers to HIV care and treatment, is a national priority.”