LatinaLista -- Hispanic Heritage Month ends Friday, October 15 but not before one more special event takes place meant to highlight awareness of Latinos -- and AIDS.
In 2007, HIV/AIDS was the fifth leading cause of death among Hispanics/Latinos aged 35-44 and the sixth leading cause of death among Hispanics/Latinos aged 25-34 in the US.
In 2008, men made up 80% of all Hispanic/Latino adults and adolescents diagnosed with HIV infection in the 37 states and 5 U.S. dependent areas, the majority of whom were men who have sex with men (MSM).
Using data from 2007 to model lifetime risk of HIV diagnosis, it has been estimated that at some point in life 1 in 35 Hispanic/Latino men would receive a diagnosis of HIV infection, as would 1 in 114 Hispanic/Latina women, signaling that the HIV epidemic is still a significant concern for Hispanics/Latinos.
( 2008 is the latest year for which surveillance information is available.)
This year's theme for NLAAD is Save a Life; It May be your Own. Get Tested for HIV. "From 2005-2008, the number of diagnoses of HIV infection increased in Hispanics/Latinos. The increase in the number of diagnoses may be due to increased HIV testing and other outreach efforts."
In other words, early testing does save lives and prevents the further unintentional spread of AIDS. Also, HIV testing isn't just for gays or lesbians. Those who have multiple sex partners should get tested as well.
It's so much better to be safe than sorry.