HIV Increases by 87% among Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Latino and Black Youth
In 2013, Latinos accounted for almost one quarter of all estimated new diagnoses of HIV infection in the United States despite representing about 17% of the total US population. Recent reports by the CDC show the overall rates for HIV infections among Latinos have decreased, but not for all Latinos. The number of HIV diagnoses among gay Latino and black youth in the United States has shot up by 87 % since 2005, according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention report, “HIV Prevention in the United States: New Opportunities, New Expectations.” The report found that the steepest increases in HIV diagnoses were in Latino and black youth between the ages of 13 and 24. Men who have sex with men accounted for 67 percent of HIV diagnoses in 2014. For Latino men in this group, the diagnoses rose almost 25 percent.
What is the cause for this alarming rate of HIV infections among LGBTQ Latin@s and what can we do about this increase? Are LGBTQ Latin@s involved in grassroots leadership to address HIV in the United States? Are transgender, youth, and immigrant issues addressed when solutions are discussed? These questions and more are the reason organizations such as the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) are convening a series of opportunities to discuss the Latino community and HIV at the Creating Change Conference. The conference will gather over 5,000 LGBTQ grassroots and grasstop leaders from across the country for a week of sessions dedicated to advancing full freedom, justice, and equality for LGBTQ people.
At the Creating Change Conference, LULAC is partnering with leaders in the HIV field to highlight concerns about HIV for Latinos who are part of the LGBTQ community. We will mobilize key thought leaders to discuss the challenges related culturally competent care, the Affordable Care Act, and barriers to access. The various sessions at Creating Change will discuss opportunities that exist such as PrEP, treatment as prevention, anti-stigma efforts, and grassroots engagement of the LGBTQ Latin@ community. The sessions will provide opportunities to meet the challenges we face as LGBTQ Latin@s and work together to take action.
LULAC is planning the 4th annual Unión = Fuerza Latino Institute at Creating Change on January 21st. An Institute plenary session will feature David Ernesto Munar, President and CEO of Howard Brown Health, who will address the key need for mobilizing LGBTQ Latinos to address the HIV epidemic and a Latino Institute workshop led by LULAC partner, Oscar Raúl López of Valley AIDS Council will Address Homophobia on the United States / Mexico Border to Impact HIV Amongst Young men who have sex with men (MSM).
LULAC, in partnership with the the National Minority AIDS Council (NMAC), TransLatin@ Coalition, Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, and Hetrick Martin Institute (HMI) is hosting the LGBTQ Latin@ HIV Caucus at Creating Change.
LULAC invites grassroots and grasstops LGBTQ Latin@s working on HIV issues or those interested in working on HIV issues to join us on January 22, 2016 from 6:30 – 7:30PM CT at the Hilton Chicago. Please R.S.V.P. by clicking here.
The evening will create a space for participants to discuss their own work on HIV prevention, treatment, and the specific barriers or challenges faced by LGBTQ Latin@ access to prevention and treatment care. The gathering is aimed at identifying potential opportunities for collaboration, building upon synergies to increasing the number of LGBTQ Latinos working in the HIV field, and encouraging Latino-led LGBTQ organizations to take advantage of HIV funding. The caucus will connect attendees with best practices to advance culturally competent tools to reduce new HIV infections and ensure that HIV positive LGBTQ Latinos receive treatment.
Facilitators of the LGBTQ Latin@ HIV Caucus will include Jesus Barrios, Sexual & Behavioral Health Coordinator at Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, Brooklyn, New York; Alex Garner, Program Coordinator National Minority AIDS Council (NMAC), Arianna Lint, TransLatin@ Coalition, East Co-Chair; David M. Pérez, League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), Lillian Rivera, Hetrick-Martin Institute (HMI). We invite Latinos attending Creating Change to join us for this important caucus dedicated to discussing HIV and LGBTQ Latino issues. R.S.V.P. today!
In 2015, LULAC launched a new initiative as part of its Latinos Living Healthy initiative, which features a 5-year plan for addressing HIV with a vital focus on LGBTQ Latinos. We utilize our national reach through social media platforms, over 1,000 grassroots LULAC councils, and other collaborative partnerships in order to support the CDC’s new program, Partnering and Communicating Together to Act Against AIDS (PACT), to disseminate HIV-prevention education and communication within Latino communities. The campaign helps advance the goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, which aims to reduce the rate of new infections, reduce stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV, and educate Americans about the threat of HIV and methods for prevention of infection. Please go to www.cdc.gov/doingit or www.LULAC.org/salud to access the CDC’s new “Doing It” public awareness campaign materials.
David M. Pérez is the Director of Development for League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and a founding co-chair of the Unión = Fuerza Latino Institute at Creating Change, now in its 4th year. You may contact David at dperez@LULAC.org or @DMP7 on Twitter.
by. David M. Pérez , Director of Development, League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)