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Georgia Hispanic Community Sees Spike in HIV Infections

Georgia Hispanic Community Sees Spike in HIV Infections

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Photo by Wendy Wei via Pexels

The state now has the third highest rate of HIV transmission in the country.

Dr. David Philpott, an epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention, recently presented research that showed Georgia has the third highest rate of HIV transmission within the United States (with approximately 11 million people, Georgia is the eighth most populous state in the U.S.).

The studies found that although the rates of diagnosis declined for white and Black people, the Hispanic population was, in turn, seeing a rise in HIV diagnosis rates.

According to 11 Alive News, upon presenting the research, Philpott said, “A lot of HIV is driven by stigma, discrimination as well as inadequate access to care. This is a population that’s historically been underserved, and it’s incumbent upon all of us to help prevent HIV infections in any population anywhere in our communities.”

The data, which honed in on five clusters of widespread infection, showed that the median age within the clusters was 29, and more than half of the people were Latino. Over 80 percent had had male-to-male sexual contact.

"We detected the networks in which HIV was spreading rapidly," Dr. Carlos Saldana, an HIV medical advisor at Atlanta's Emory University, said. "In these networks, HIV spreads at least six times faster than previously estimated national averages."

Places like Latino Linq offer free HIV testing, education, and other resources to the LGBTQ+ community to offer help to those who may be facing a language barrier.

“One of them told me, ‘finally someone is listening to us,’” said president Eric Rangel. “I’m able to give back to the community, help folks get access to care they would have never gotten in their home countries or counties.”

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