New York, NY - On Monday August 27 an important national meeting took place in Atlanta, GA to address the HIV crisis affecting Hispanics/Latinx. The meeting hosted by the National Hispanic Medical Association, included individuals from many regions, including Puerto Rico that is heavily impacted by HIV.
The 2016 CDC data on new infections shows a significant decrease of new HIV cases among gay white non-Hispanic MSM, a stabilization among Africa-American MSM, and an increase among Hispanics/Latinx MSM of all ages.
This past spring several community-based organizations (COAI, Inc., Bienestar Inc., Valley AIDS Council, La Clinica del Pueblo/Empoderate Program, Center for Latino Adolescent and Family Health (CLAFH), New York University, TransLatina Coalition, Latino Commission on AIDS) came together to developed a national letter, signed by over 147 organizations and 176 individuals expressing concerns on the increases of HIV infections among Hispanic/Latinx and requesting immediate actions to address this crisis.
Among the attendees' present at the national meeting, were the leadership and program officers of the Division of HIV Prevention of the CDC, led by Dr. Eugene McCray, Dr. Elena Rios, President of the National Hispanic Medical Association and representatives of diverse Community Based Organizations and leaders from Hispanic/Latinx communities.
The primary goal of the national meeting was to assess, discuss and identify action steps to address the alarming increase of HIV among Hispanic/Latino MSM of all ages. Increases have also been seen among Trans Latinas and Cis gender Latinas, leading to an urgent call to action to reverse this trend.
The national meeting concluded with several recommendations, actions steps that will be reviewed by participants at follow up meetings and briefings to understand the challenges associated with the unique and diverse realities of Hispanic/Latinx communities. Participants recognized the devastation of HIV, the barriers to prevention and care services, the impact of stigma, immigration, culture, race and the social determinants of health that impact Hispanic/Latinx in the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.