A post at bfp’s made me notice that my pre-arranged post on National Latino AIDs Awareness Day never posted. In fact it disappeared from the archive all together. (I am still getting the hang of some of the controls here at squarespace.) So I am writing it over two days late, but at least its here right?
Wednesday Oct. 15, 2008 was National Latino AIDS Awareness Day.
According to the CDC Latin@s have the second highest risk for HIV and AIDS, behind African Americans, in this country. They are also more likely to die from AIDs than their Asian American and White counterparts diagnosed at the same time. To date more than 77,000 Latin@s have died from AIDs in this country. The number is greater if you factor in people who died without being diagnosed.
Like the African American population infection differs for women and men. Latinas are most likely to be infected by heterosexual activity and/or drug use. Many Latinas think they are safe because they are engaging in presumed monogamous heterosexual relationships, unfortunately the stats say otherwise.
Latinos have three major ways of contracting the disease: having sex with men, drug use, and high risk heterosexual activity (multiple partners, lack of condom use, etc.). Of these, MSM accounts for 44% of the new HIV and AIDs diagnosis in the Latino community. Meaning, that we have to do better to provide targeted education about HIV and AIDs safety for men who have sex with men in the Latino community. (You can start with the APLA pamphlet What is Safe to You)
At the same time, Latin@s have one of the highest testing rates in N. America. Over 50% of Latin@s between 15-44 get tested every year.
Take the time to educate yourself and your peers about HIV and AIDs prevention by visiting the following sites:
- Latino Commission on AIDs
- Hispanic Federation
- Project Inform (in Spanish)
- The Body (in Spanish or in English)/ Stories of Latin@s living with HIV and AIDS here
- Adolescent AIDs Project
- Advocates for youth (general info)
- Gay Men’s Health Crisis (English and Spanish)
- National Minority AIDs Council
If there are resources that should be here, let us all know. Drop a comment