Hispanics make up 21 % of new HIV infections despite being 16 % of population

From the Latin Post

The Center for Disease Control rolled out a new campaign to target Hispanic and Latino communities in addressing HIV/AIDS, citing a high number of new infections each year. Annually, the CDC reports, 500,000 people become infected each year in the U.S., and the Hispanic and Latino population — which is 16 percent of the nation’s population — constitutes 21 percent of new infections.

Introducing their new campaign, accompanied with two videos highlighting the information, the CDC said, “We all have a role to play. We can stop HIV one conversation at a time. Together, all of our conversations can help protect the health of our community and reduce the spread of HIV. ” The “one conversation at a time” tagline is the being promoted ahead of the National Latinos AIDS Awareness Day, which coincides with the last day of Hispanic Heritage Month, on Oct. 15.

The CDC said that 1 in 36 Hispanic/Latino men and 1 in 106 Hispanic/Latina women will be diagnosed with HIV at some point in their lives. “Because there is no single Latino culture, the factors driving the epidemic in this population are as diverse as the communities themselves,” the CDC said.

Despite prevention methods and measures, the Latinos continue to bear a heavier burden than most when it comes to HIV/AIDS. Where Latinos live also affects the numbers of infected men specifically. HIV diagnosis in the Northeast is more than twice that of any other region in the country, mostly from male-to-male sexual contact and intravenous drug use. In the South, those with HIV are more likely to have been affected by male-to-male sexual contact, according to the CDC.

One of the campaign videos by the CDC titled Sin Verguenza, or “Without Shame,” starts off like a soap opera — introducing the main characters, each with a somber face as their names flash across the screen. It is intended to engage the audience as the 8-minute video begins with an introduction to the fictional Salazar family. Once over, one of the characters comes into the camera frame and asks the audience if they can identify which of the family members may have HIV/AIDS.

This is the first installment in the campaign, which promises more episodes. “It may not always be easy to talk about HIV/AIDS, but we must talk openly about it to protect our community. By learning the facts about HIV and talking about ways to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and our community, we can help increase HIV awareness, decrease stigma and shame that are too often associated with HIV, and play a part in stopping HIV in the Hispanic/Latino community,” the CDC said.


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