HIV is a serious public health issue in the Latino community. While Latinos only account for 17% of the U.S. population, they represent 23% of new HIV infections in the United States. In 2013, Latinos had the second highest rate of new HIV diagnoses compared with other ethnicities.
Anyone can get HIV regardless of their age, gender, sexual orientation, or whether they are in a relationship. By talking about HIV with our loved ones, we can make sure that they learn the facts, including how HIV is transmitted and how to protect themselves.
Did you know that HIV affects more Latinos than we think? More than 250,000 Hispanics/Latinos in the United States are living with HIV. In 2013, 23% of new HIV infections in the United States occurred among Latinos. Although representing 17% of the total U.S. population, Latinos account for 21% of people living with HIV and 23% of new HIV diagnoses each year.
Every conversation we have about HIV can help reduce stigma and misconceptions. Together, all of our conversations can help protect the health of our community and reduce the spread of HIV among Latinos.
The first step to stopping HIV in the Latino community is talking about it.
Learn the facts before you start your conversation. It’s important to share truthful, useful, and accurate information about HIV. Consider these facts:
More than 1.2 million people are living with HIV in the United States
The only way to know whether you have HIV is to get tested
HIV cannot be spread by casual contact like hugging or shaking hands
Start the conversation. Talking about HIV may be uncomfortable or embarrassing at first. Talking openly and regularly about it can help make these conversations easier. Try starting the conversation with an interesting fact or by mentioning something you recently saw, read, or heard about HIV. Remember to be honest and sincere. You may not know all the answers, but you can offer to learn about them together.
Continue the conversations. Talk about HIV more than one time and with more than one person. Use these conversations as an opportunity to figure out anything that might be preventing your friends and family members from protecting themselves against HIV. Correct any myths they have by sharing the facts you’ve learned. Remember, we can stop HIV one conversation at a time.
To learn more visit: http://www.cdc.gov/oneconversation