From Latinx AIDS Awareness Day to World AIDS Day

A month ago on the 15th, we celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month and Latinx National AIDS Awareness Day. We want to share what we heard from Luis Mares, LMSW, Director of Community Mobilization at the Latino Commission on AIDS on the Latinx Community and HIV, the upcoming celebration of World AIDS Day on December 1 and the importance knowledge in the fight to end the HIV epidemic.

Luis shared that knowledge is a powerful tool in the fight against HIV and AIDS. That is why, each year, the Latino Commission on AIDS provides information, resources and HIV testing kits to communities and organizations. This knowledge not only improves the health of the community, but also helps reduce the stigma of people living with HIV.

The Latinx community has been disproportionately affected by HIV, even though this community represents 18.4% of the total population of the United States. In 2019, of the 36,801 new HIV cases in the United States and its territories, more than a quarter were in Hispanic / Latin people, according to the CDC’s HIV surveillance report. “In order to create and maintain optimal health for all people living with HIV and to be able to prevent new cases of HIV, we must create equitable access to prevention, treatment and care,” said said Guillermo Chacón, president of the Latin American Commission on AIDS. and founder of the Hispanic Health Network. “Ending the HIV epidemic in the United States and Puerto Rico relies on a strong community approach, an integrated health care system free of stigma, and equitable access to comprehensive health care coverage and services. support, especially housing for people living with and vulnerable to HIV. For many members of Hispanic / Latin communities and other communities of color, equity is important in eradicating the giant impact that HIV has had in our communities.

Latinx AIDS Awareness Day and World AIDS Day are ways to discuss the barriers communities face in addressing HIV and HIV stigma. Forty years ago, the first five cases of what later became known as AIDS were reported by the CDC. Then no one knew what AIDS was. We can compare that to the current situation — we have different drugs, and it’s very easy to control the virus now if people living with HIV continue to take treatment. In those uncertain times 40 years ago, no one would have thought that there would eventually be so many different options, including injectable HIV treatment once a month. It is important to see the progress that we have made and the progress that will continue. People need to know that if they have HIV, they can live normal lives and be healthy if they continue to take treatment — this did not exist 40 years ago.

See the Latino Commission on AIDS website for more information and resources on HIV education, training and programs.

We also encourage you to share the following information and resources in your communications and activities:

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