One out of four Latino gay and bisexual men will become HIV-positive in their lifetime, according to the Centers Disease Control and Prevention. As Plus reported, while Latinx represent 17 percent of the U.S. population, they represented 24 percent of new HIV cases in 2014. We've spent enough time discussing the many reasons why Latinx are disproportionately at risk of becoming positive. Now it’s time for change.
National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day (NLAAD) is observed every year on the last day of Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September 15 to October 15. This year's theme is "Do your part!"
NLAAD posters and social media campaigns depict the text of the 2018 theme embedded with four icons: a test tube, a PrEP pill, antiretroviral medication (sometimes portrayed with “U=U”) and a condom. These represent four tools to end HIV: testing, Truvada, condoms and treatment.
“NLAAD continues to promote strategies to reduce stigma associated with HIV. This is key in addressing social and structural conditions that spur the disproportionate impact of the epidemic on Hispanic/Latinx communities,” Guillermo Chacon, president of the Latino Commission on AIDS and founder of the Hispanic Health Network, said in a press release about NLAAD and a related mobilization event on the steps of New York City’s City Hall.
Educating ourselves and our communities — about HIV myths, and the importance of getting tested, and getting on HIV treatment or considering PrEP — is essential. Unfortunately much of the most accurate information is only available in English, which easily becomes mistranslated, or presented in culturally incompetent ways to those who speak Spanish.
If we want to stop this epidemic we have to be proactive in helping the Latinx community do the same. Because at the end of the day, we are all in this together.