In an effort to promote HIV testing, prevention, and treatment in Hispanic/Latino communities, Oct. 15 has been designated National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day.
The set-aside day is coordinated by the Latino Commission on AIDS. The term Latinx serves as a gender-neutral alternative to Latino/Latina.
This year’s theme for National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day, Ending HIV Is Everyone’s Job, emphasizes the tools available to address HIV in all communities. It challenges everyone learn more about HIV, prevent new infections, help people with HIV stay healthy, and work together to end this disease that disproportionately affects Hispanics/Latinos in the United States and six dependent areas.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hispanics/Latinos represent nearly 18% of the total population of the United States, but accounted for 26% of the 40,324 new HIV diagnoses in 2016 in the United States and 6 dependent areas.
New HIV diagnoses among Hispanic women/Latinas decreased 14% from 2011 to 2015 and remained stable among Hispanics/Latinos overall, according to the CDC. Although these trends show progress for some Hispanics/Latinos, new HIV diagnoses increased 13% among Hispanic/Latino gay and bisexual men during the same period.
In recognition of National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day, the CDC says there is something everyone can do. The nation’s public health agency encourages everyone to:
- Get the facts. Learn about HIV testing, treatment, and prevention, and share this information with partners, family, and friends in your communities.
- Get tested. CDC recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 get tested for HIV at least once as part of routine health care and those at high risk get tested at least once a year. Some sexually active gay and bisexual men may benefit from more frequent testing (every 3 to 6 months).
- To find a testing site near you visit Get Tested; text your ZIP code to KNOWIT (566948); or call 1-800-CDC-INFO (232-4636). You can also use a home testing kit available in drugstores or online.
- Latinx AIDS Awareness Day: Shutterstock