CDC says that HIV/AIDS Disproportionately Affects Latinos
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Hispanics or Latinos living in the United States are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS. The CDC claims that Hispanics or Latinos account for 18 percent of the overall population and 24 percent of all new HIV diagnoses. The CDC published new data last year on the progress toward the national goals for Hispanic or Latino patients with HIV of 85 percent linkage to care, 90 percent retention in care, and 80 percent viral load suppression by 2020. Zanetta Gant, PhD, epidemiologist in the CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, stated,
Improving health outcomes for Hispanics or Latinos living with HIV infection is necessary to reduce HIV transmission in the United States. Prompt linkage to care after diagnosis allows early initiation of HIV treatment, which is associated with reduced morbidity, mortality, and transmission of HIV infection.
According to the CDC’s report, the estimated 235,600 Hispanics or Latinos living with HIV infection in the United States have lower levels of care and viral suppression than non-Hispanic whites and are three times as likely to be diagnosed with HIV. The report stated that in 2015, 75.4 percent of Hispanics or Latinos with a diagnosed HIV infection were linked to care within 1 month. Only 70.2 percent received care in 2014, while 58.3 percent were retained in care and 58.2 percent were virally suppressed. The data showed that the lowest levels of care and viral suppression were among males whose infections were linked to injection drug use, and the highest were among heterosexual females. Hopefully, more people that are infected with either disease can get the help they need to improve their health.