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New report recognizes the AIDS crisis among NY Latinos

LatinaLista — The Latino Commission on AIDS has released a new report that is as chilling as it is hopeful.

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New York State Responds to the Latino HIV/AIDS Crisis and Plans for Action is a report detailing strategies on how the Latino community — local leaders and politicians — can work to prevent and reduce the further spread of HIV.

If you thought HIV was nothing to worry about anymore, unfortunately, that’s not true when it comes to the Latino population.

In 2007, Latinos in New York State represented 16% of the population, but accounted for 30% of people living with HIV/AIDS. In 2008 of the 1,311 New York Latinos reported to have HIV infection, 449, or 34 percent, developed AIDS within the first year of their HIV diagnosis, which means they tested late in their infection, when it may have been too late to fully benefit from life-extending treatments.

In fact, the Center for Disease Control has data showing that among all racial and ethnic groups, Latinos progress to AIDS faster. According to the data, 42 percent are diagnosed with AIDS within 12 months after learning of their positive HIV status. For Anglos, the rate is 34 percent and for blacks, 35 percent.

Unfortunately, experience has shown that what is usually happening in one Latino community is probably happening in others, it’s just that nobody has realized it yet.

“Among other important recommendations, this report calls for New York State to address the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS,” said New York Senate Health Committee Chair Thomas K. Duane (D, WFP-Manhattan). “This report illustrates the need for legislation that supports HIV testing as a routine part of health care and legislation that ends discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.”


It’s a recommendation that all states need to enact to combat the uneven odds of this disease.

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