Latinx National AIDS Awareness Day 2021

October 15 marks National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day (NLAAD) 2021. This year’s theme is “Time to Act. It’s time to end HIV. The theme takes a historic look at the outbreak, noting that 2021 is the 40e anniversary of the first published reports on what has been called HIV / AIDS.

As one of the NLAAD graduates put it: “HIV has just turned 40, and although much progress has been made since 1981, there is still work to be done. It’s time to act. It’s time to end HIV.

In keeping with this theme, many graphics for #NLAAD 2021 place the outbreak in a larger historical context, with sayings such as:

  • Before there was the Internet, there was HIV.
  • When HIV was first reported, the Amazon was just a river.
  • When HIV was first reported, web design was for spiders.
  • There is a pandemic that has survived 10 World Cups.
  • There is a pandemic that has survived 10 presidential terms.

The awareness day is organized by the Latino Commission on AIDS, the Hispanic Federation and other organizations. In addition to raising awareness about HIV and promoting prevention, testing and treatment, this year’s NLAAD aims to refer people to trusted sources of HIV information, such as the National Institutes for Health and the Department of Health and Human Services, including the HIV website. govt.

A fantastic source of HIV data is AIDSVu.org, which organizes the latest HIV data into easy-to-understand infographics and breaks down the data by region and includes interactive maps and interviews with relevant experts. Regarding NLAAD 2021, AIDSVu offers this information:

In 2019, Hispanic / Latin people made up 16% of the US population aged 13 and over, but 29% of those diagnosed with HIV.

Overall, the Hispanic / Latinx community faces cultural and societal challenges, including language barriers and mistrust of the healthcare system. These challenges can delay HIV testing and treatment. In 2019, 21% of new HIV diagnoses among Hispanic / Latin people were diagnosed late. In the same year, it was estimated that only 51% of Hispanic / Latin people reported ever having been tested for HIV.

This year, AIDSVu is also highlighting the impact of social determinants of health, such as poverty and lack of health insurance, on HIV-related health outcomes for Hispanic / Latin people:

• In 2019, 17.2% of Hispanic / Latin people lived in poverty, compared to 12% of the US population.

• In the same year, 22.5% of Hispanic / Latin people were uninsured, compared to 10.4% of the US population.

In related news, the Latino Commission on AIDS released a report this summer that assessed whether gay and bisexual Latino men living with HIV were involved in care and access to medicines. The results were based on a survey of 506 HIV-positive gay and bisexual Latino men aged 18 to 49 in Los Angeles, Miami and New York.

The results of the 2018 survey were published in Study of the 3 cities, a 49-page report that you can read and download here. In short, the survey found that 93.6% of participants had a regular health care provider; 93.9% were in treatment; and 88.5% had been told by their primary care provider that their viral load was undetectable. But the study’s authors cautioned that survey and discussion participants were associated with HIV organizations and that the same numbers were not found in Latino subgroups.




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