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Check out this alarming and truly disturbing trend: in recent years, the HIV diagnosis rate of Latino men who have sex with men (MSM) has been on a sharp upswing—even though the overall rate of infections have dropped among Latinos.
Poz.com has reported, “Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) analyzed diagnoses (as opposed to estimated new transmissions) of the virus among Latinos reported to the National HIV Surveillance System between 2008 and 2013.” A recent NLAAD (National Latino AIDS Awareness Day) Media Summary stated, “While the rate of HIV diagnoses declined among Latinos overall during this time period (from 28.3 per 100,000 population to 24.3), the number of diagnoses increased by 16 percent among Latino MSM (from 6,141 to 7,098).
“The increase among Latino MSM tracks with an overall increase in new infections seen among MSM in previous reports, suggesting a potential resurgence in HIV among this population. HIV diagnoses declined among other transmission groups, and were either stable or declined among all age groups.”
And according to the media summary, HIV disproportionately affects and impacts Latinos (likewise African-Americans); for example, in 2013, the rate of HIV infections among Latinos (18.7) was nearly three times that of non-Hispanic whites (6.6). The analysis found that behavioral risk factors among Latinos differed, depending on place of birth—pointing to the necessity of tailored HIV prevention strategies that recognize the Latino community’s diversity.
The media summary added, “To combat HIV among Latinos, the authors (of the analysis) underscore the critical need to prioritize testing; care and treatment of people living with HIV; and ensuring those as the highest risk have the knowledge and tools to protect themselves and their partners from infection, especially among Latino gay and bisexual men.”