Saturday, October 15, marks National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day (#NLAAD) 2022. Organized by the Latino Commission on AIDS, the Hispanic Federation and other groups, the awareness day is a chance to underscore the disproportionate impact of HIV on Latinos.
In 2020, according to data on AIDSVu.org, Latinos made up 19% of the U.S. population but represented 27% of new HIV cases. This means that 8,285 Latinos were diagnosed with HIV in 2020, although researchers caution that because of COVID-19 shutdowns and disruptions that year, the data should be taken with caution. Overall, a total of about 1.2 million people are estimated to be living with HIV in the United States.
Providers: Fear of stigma can prevent Hispanic/Latinx people from seeking HIV testing, prevention, and treatment services. This #NLAAD, explore CDC resources to learn how you can #StopHIVStigma by initiating conversations about #HIV with patients. https://t.co/hsjT9SqkGX #repost pic.twitter.com/q8FF9uXHm1— MAOofAlabama (@MAOofAlabama) October 14, 2022
The theme of this year’s NLAAD is “You Choose!” The campaign references the many new HIV prevention and treatment options available today. Whether you prefer daily pills or long-acting injectables, there’s a regimen that’ll work for you!
This year’s theme informs us about new developments in the scientific field of HIV, explains to NLAAD.org, which adds that injectable medications for treatment (administered once a month) or for prevention (given once every two months) make it possible to end the HIV epidemic.
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The awareness day, the NLAAD advocates write, encourages “everyone to do their part in the fight against HIV: take the HIV test, learn about HIV and risk factors, consider PrEP [pre-exposure prophylaxis] and using condoms as prevention approaches and stay adherent to HIV treatment to become virally suppressed or undetectable.”
An undetectable status is important because people who are living with HIV and take medications to maintain an undetectable viral load not only live healthier and longer lives but also do not transmit the virus sexually, a fact referred to as Undetectable equals Untransmittable, or U=U.
AIDSVu.org, which creates sharable graphics and interactive maps based on the latest HIV and PrEP data, offers more information about HIV and related social determinants of health among Latinos:
- In 2020, 18% of Hispanic/Latinx people in the U.S. were living in poverty, compared to 13% of the overall U.S. population
- In 2020, 18% of Hispanic/Latinx people lacked health insurance, compared to just 9% of the overall U.S. population
- In 2020, 3% of all Hispanic/Latinx people in the U.S. were living with food insecurity, compared to 12% of the overall U.S. population.
“The Hispanic/Latinx community faces unique cultural and societal challenges in HIV prevention, treatment and care, including language barriers and mistrust of the health care system,” writes AIDSVu.org. “These challenges can also delay HIV testing and necessary treatment. In 2021, 23% of new HIV diagnoses among Hispanic/Latinx people were diagnosed late, meaning those individuals were diagnosed with stage 3 HIV (AIDS) within 3 months of their initial HIV diagnosis. In the same year, only an estimated 45% of Hispanic/Latinx individuals reported ever being tested for HIV. Research also suggests that undocumented Hispanic/Latinx immigrants are also more likely to be diagnosed late.
To learn more about the awareness day, including events taking place in your city, search #NLAAD on social media.
October 15 is National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day, a day to help stop HIV stigma and address the disproportionate impact of HIV on Hispanic/Latino communities. https://t.co/o894xa4MXv #StopHIVTogether #NLAAD pic.twitter.com/9fZaEajZz1— Project WISH (UIC) (@projectWISHUIC) October 14, 2022
In related news, the U.S Conference on HIV/AIDS (#2022USCHA) took place last week in Puerto Rico and highlighted the HIV-related challenges and accomplishments in the Latino community.
The conference included a stage reading of the podcast Love in Gravity, a ViiV Healthcare series of HIV-themed stories by and for Latinos. You can listen to the episodes for free on Apple and Spotify and other podcaster streamers—do yourself a favor and check out the episode “Our Lady of the Six Train,” which was performed in Puerto Rico (pictured in the tweet below). Other live readings from the series will be performed at 7 p.m. at the Miami Light Project on Friday and Saturday, October 14 and 15, in honor of National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day. Tickets are free and available here.
Until October 25, you’ll also have the chance to watch a new documentary about Latino AIDS advocate Pedro Zamora titled Keep the Cameras Rolling: The Pedro Zamora Way. Zamora starred in The Real World: San Francisco and died just hours after the final episode aired. The film is screening live and online as part of NewFest, the New York LGBTQ film festival. For more details about the film, read our interview with journalist and documentarian Leo Rocha, one of the film’s writers.
October 15 is National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day (NLAAD), a time to raise awareness about HIV among Hispanic/Latino people. This #NLAAD, please join us in celebrating the progress in HIV prevention among this population.— Metro Inclusive Health (@MetroInclusive) October 14, 2022
Via: https://t.co/9qBrOrpq86 pic.twitter.com/rRpl2AkIr5