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Hispanics Given the Short Shrift?

Hispanics Given the Short Shrift?


Much media attention was given this summer to a new report indicating that the annual U.S. HIV infection rate is 40% higher than was previously thought. But Latino AIDS activists are saying the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's report grossly underestimates the impact of HIV among Hispanics because the federal agency did not include data from Puerto Rico in its analysis. Previous studies suggest that as many as 20% of America's HIV-positive Hispanics live in Puerto Rico. Not including these HIVers in the national statistics results in a dramatic underestimation of the disease's impact among Latinos, the activists say. The skewed numbers are particularly worrisome since federal HIV dollars are allocated based on where the government sees the disease spreading the most rapidly. 'The decision to exclude Puerto Ricans from the Hispanic incidence analysis is perplexing. We will never have an accurate estimate of HIV incidence in the Hispanic community if this discrimination continues,' said Dennis deLeon, president of the Latino Commission on AIDS.

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