The HIV/AIDS epidemic is a serious threat to the Hispanic/Latino community.
In 2005, HIV/AIDS was the fourth leading cause of death among Hispanic/Latino
men and women aged 35 to 44 .
HIV/AIDS in 2006
- Hispanics/Latinos accounted for 18% of the 35,314 new HIV/AIDS
diagnoses in 33 states with long-term, confidential name based HIV
- Hispanics/Latinos accounted for 17% of the 491,727 persons
(including children) living with HIV/AIDS in the 33 states .
- For Hispanic/Latino men living with HIV/AIDS, the most common
methods of HIV transmission were (in order) sexual contact with
other men, injection drug use, and high-risk heterosexual contact.
For Hispanic/Latina women living with HIV/AIDS, the most common
methods of transmission were high-risk heterosexual contact and
injection drug use .
Race/ethnicity of persons (including children)
with HIV/AIDS diagnosed during 2006
Based on data from 33
states with long-term, confidential
name-based HIV reporting.
AIDS in 2006
- Hispanics/Latinos accounted for 19% of new AIDS diagnoses and 19%
of all people living with AIDS in the 50 states and the District of
- Of the rates of AIDS diagnoses for adults and adolescents in all
racial and ethnic groups, the second highest (after the rate for
blacks) was the rate for Hispanics/Latinos .
- Although Hispanics/Latinos made up only about 13% of the
population of the United States, they accounted for 16% of the
estimated 982,498 AIDS cases diagnosed in the 50 states and the
District of Columbia since the beginning of the epidemic .
- By the end of 2006, an estimated 80,690 Hispanics/Latinos with
AIDS in the 50 states and the District of Columbia had died .
A number of cultural, socioeconomic, and
health-related factors contribute to the HIV
epidemic and prevention challenges in the US
- Behavioral risk factors for
HIV infection differ by country of
birth. For example, data suggest that
Hispanics/Latinos born in Puerto Rico
are more likely than other
Hispanics/Latinos to contract HIV as a
result of injection drug use or
high-risk heterosexual contact. By
contrast, sexual contact with other men
is the primary cause of HIV infections
among Hispanic/Latino men born in
Central or South America, Cuba, Mexico,
or the United States .
- Hispanic/Latina women and
Hispanic/Latino men are most likely to
be infected with HIV as a result of
sex with men . Therefore,
prevention program staff need to address
issues specific to the Hispanics/Latinos
to whom a particular program is
directed: for example, condom usage (men
and women) or the balance of power
within relationships (especially women).
- Injection drug use continues
to be a risk factor for
Hispanics/Latinos, particularly those
living in Puerto Rico .
Both casual and chronic substance users
are more likely
to engage in risky sexual behaviors,
such as unprotected sex, when they are
under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- The rates of sexually transmitted
diseases, which can increase the chances
of contracting HIV, are higher for
Hispanics/Latinos. In 2006, the rate of chlamydial infection for
Hispanics/Latinos was about 3 times the
rate for whites (not Hispanic/ Latino),
and the rates of gonorrhea and syphilis
for Hispanics/Latinos were about twice
the rates for whites .
- Certain cultural beliefs can affect
one’s risk for HIV infection. For
example, among men, machismo has
positive implications for HIV
prevention, such as strength and
protection of the family; however,
proving masculinity through power and
dominance can lead both straight and gay
Hispanic/Latino men to engage in risky
- Greater acculturation into the US
culture has both negative (engaging in
behaviors that increase the risk for HIV
infection) and positive (communicating
with partners about practicing safer
sex) effects on the health behaviors of
- More than 1 in 5 (21.9%)
Hispanics/Latinos live in poverty .
Problems associated with poverty,
including unemployment, a lack of formal
education, inadequate health insurance,
and limited access to high-quality
health care, can increase the risk for
- The migration patterns, social
structure, language barriers, and
of regular health care among transient
Hispanic/Latino immigrants can affect
awareness and hinder access to HIV/AIDS
prevention and care.
WHAT CDC IS DOING
To reduce the incidence of HIV infection,
CDC released Revised Recommendations for HIV
Testing of Adults, Adolescents, and Pregnant
Women in Health-Care Settings in 2006. These
new recommendations advise routine HIV
screening for adults, adolescents, and
pregnant women in health care settings in
the United States. CDC also
- Conducts epidemiologic and
behavioral research focused on
- Supports efforts to reduce the
health disparities experienced in the
communities of minority races and
ethnicities at high risk for HIV
- Provides effective, scientifically
based interventions to organizations
serving Hispanics/Latinos and is tailoring
other effective behavioral interventions
to Hispanics/Latinos who are at high
risk for HIV infection
- Builds the capacity of programs that
serve Hispanics/Latinos through
partnerships with national, regional,
and nongovernmental organizations
In 2006, CDC provided 56 awards to
community-based organizations in the United
States and Puerto Rico that focus primarily
on Hispanics/Latinos. CDC also provides
funding through state, territorial, and
local health departments to organizations
serving this population. In addition, CDC
provides training for researchers of
minority races/ ethnicities and in 2002
established the Minority HIV/AIDS Research
Initiative (MARI) to create partnerships
between CDC epidemiologists and researchers
who are members of minority races and
ethnicities and who work in communities of
color. CDC invests $2 million per year in
the program and since 2003 has funded 13
junior investigators at 12 sites across the
[Web-based Injury Statistics Query and
Reporting System] leading causes of
death reports, 2005.
HIV/AIDS Surveillance Report, 2006.
Vol. 18. US Department of Health and
Human Services, CDC; 2008:1-55.
Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance, 2006.
Atlanta: US Department of Health and
Human Services, CDC; 2007.
- DeNavas-Walt C, Proctor BD, Lee CH.
Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2004.
Washington, DC: US Government Printing
Office; 2005. Current Population Reports