National Latino AIDS Awareness Day
Latinos and HIV
HIV continues to affect the health of Hispanic/Latino communities in the United States. Despite making up only 16% of the U.S. population, Hispanics/Latinos accounted for 21% of new HIV infections in 2010, a rate that is three times that of whites. Additionally, more than 220,000 Hispanics/Latinos in the United States are living with HIV.
HIV testing is more important than ever because 1 in 5 people with HIV are unaware of their HIV status, and almost half of Hispanics/Latinos have never been tested. CDC recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 years be tested at least once in their lifetime. Gay and bisexual men and others at higher risk (e.g., people with multiple or HIV-positive partners) should be tested at least annually.
Getting an HIV test has never been easier. HIV testing is available in clinics and in many other settings, like gay pride events or in community service organizations—with results in as little as 20 minutes. Two home testing kits are also available online or from pharmacies.
What Can You Do?
- Get tested for HIV. To find a testing site near you, call 1-800-CDC-INFO (232-4636), visit the National HIV and STD Testing Resources page, text your ZIP code to KNOW IT (566948), or use a home testing kit.
- Remove the sexual risk of getting HIV from or transmitting HIV to others by not having sex (anal, vaginal, and oral).
- If you decide to have sex there are things you can do to reduce your risk:
- Choose one partner and agree to be sexually active only with each other (mutual monogamy). It is still important that you and your partner get tested for HIV and share your test results with one another. Many people choose to continue using condoms in a mutually monogamous relationship for further protection from HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
- Reduce the number of people you have sex with if you have more than one partner, and use condoms correctly every time you have sex.
- Stop using or injecting drugs. If you are injecting drugs, do not share drug injection equipment and use clean needles and works when injecting. Find resources on substance abuse treatment.
- Get tested for other STIs. Find an STI testing site.
- See a doctor right away if you have unprotected anal or vaginal sex with someone who might be HIV-positive. Taking medication within 3 days (known as post-exposure prophylaxis or PEP) can dramatically reduce the chance of getting HIV.
- Talk to your doctor about HIV medication to prevent HIV infection (known as pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP) if you often have unprotected anal or vaginal sex.
- If you are HIV-positive, tell your sex partners you have HIV before you have sex with them and take steps to prevent transmitting HIV to others. Get HIV medical care and take HIV medication to be healthy and reduce the chance of passing HIV to others.
- Speak out against stigma, homophobia, racism, and other forms of discrimination associated with HIV and AIDS.
- Volunteer with HIV and AIDS organizations that work in Hispanic/Latino communities.
- National Latino AIDS Awareness Day 2013
- To find an HIV test site near you: National HIV and STD Testing Resources (English) and Recursos nacionales para las pruebas del VIH y ETS (En Español)
- CDC maintains a Spanish-language website, a Spanish-language version of the Act Against AIDS website and the web page HIV Among Hispanic/Latinos.
- The REASONS/RAZONES campaign promotes testing among Hispanic/Latino men who have sex with men. Campaign resources are available on this site.
- Other federal government websites with Spanish-language HIV/AIDS resources are AIDS.gov and InfoSIDA.
- The Latino Commission on AIDS(English) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting the spread of HIV/AIDS in the Latino community.