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Plus156 Sept/Oct: Our Annual Latinx Issue

Plus156 Sept/Oct: Our Annual Latinx Issue

<p>Plus156 Sept/Oct: Our Annual Latinx Issue</p>
RVJ Studios (background Shutterstock)

RVJ Studios (background Shutterstock)

In this special issue we focus on HIV and the Latinx community, as well as bring you all the latest news and views!

Welcome to our annual Latinx issue, in which we focus on HIV and other important topics within this beautiful and diverse community. As a Latina born and raised in the East Los Angeles area, and someone who lost loved ones to HIV complications in the 1980s and ’90s, this issue of Plus holds a special place in my heart.

Latinx Americans accounted for almost 30 percent of all new HIV cases in 2019, according to the Office of Minority Health, a division of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Latinos are four times as likely to have HIV than white males and twice as likely to die of HIV-related causes. Numbers like these are proof that we, as a community, as friends and family and neighbors and lovers, need to start talking about HIV and its related issues.

One of the biggest obstacles in getting people to talk about HIV in Latinx circles is its stigma. The virus’s connection to homosexuality has perpetuated this stigma since the beginning of the epidemic, in large part due to cultural factors like religion and machismo. The good news is there are also many within this community working hard to change all this. Our cover star, Pedro Coronado, a sex-positive community health worker and HIV ally of over 20 years, is getting people to talk about subjects like HIV, sexual health, and more in the most fun way possible — through kink. “Hey, we also live in this world of kink and fetish, and it should be celebrated,” Coronado tells Plus. “And we need to understand so we can better serve our communities.” Read the full interview (in English and español) starting on page 14.

Another big issue facing Latinx and LGBTQ+ communities right now is money — or rather, a lack thereof. In this issue, we bring stories of some vital organizations currently threatened by major budget cuts and lack of funding. Read the commentary piece by Eduardo García (senior policy manager at the Latino Community Foundation in San Francisco) on page 31 about how orgs that help transgender Latinas are among the hardest hit by such funding issues. And on page 40, read about a beloved AIDS monument in Los Angeles in danger due to recent budget cuts.

For some much-needed hope and inspiration, we highlight some truly amazing folks living with HIV. Meet a visual artist who is healing through creating (page 34); a Latino writer living his best life (page 38); a classically trained dancer and culture expert (page 42); and two amazing young moms who share their stories in an award-winning documentary produced by actress Sheryl Lee Ralph (page 46).

We also bring you all the latest news affecting our community and world — like the loss of beloved HIV/AIDS activist, Rev. Steve Pieters (page 6). And check out a fun story about how a gay comedian reads a friend to filth for revealing someone else’s HIV status (page 8).

Be well,

Desiree Guerrero, Plus Editor in Chief


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