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The Impact of HIV on Latino MSM
Survey identifies gaps in knowledge among Latino MSM living with HIV
Recent data from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate that annual HIV diagnoses in the United States have declined, however, in some populations and communities the virus continues to disproportionately impact them.1 For example, among all Hispanic/Latino persons living with HIV, males accounted for nearly 90 percent of HIV diagnoses in 2016, most of which were attributed to male-to-male sexual contact. Data are particularly shocking for Latino men aged 25 to 34, where the number of annual HIV diagnoses increased by roughly 65 percent from 2010 to 2016.2
As Latino men who have sex with men (MSM) have come more into focus in recent years, efforts to educate and test these men have increased, which may explain the increase in diagnoses. Nonetheless, Guillermo Chacon, president of the Latino Commission on AIDS and founder of the Hispanic Health Network, believes the rise in HIV among Latino MSM is alarming and needs to be urgently addressed.
“Rising rates among Latino gay and bisexual men in the United States clearly indicate that more support and culturally relevant prevention efforts are needed. We must work together to review current engagement efforts and develop approaches to ending the HIV epidemic.” - Guillermo Chacon
ViiV Healthcare recently provided financial and scientific support to the Latino Commission on AIDS to explore the impact of HIV among Latino MSM via a survey conducted in Los Angeles, Miami, and New York City.
Findings from the survey, which were presented at the 2019 CDC National HIV Prevention Conference, addressed several gaps in knowledge regarding retention of and engagement in care and found:
- For foreign-born Latino MSM, immigration factors and documentation status often negatively impact health outcomes. And for all Latino MSM, cultural factors like HIV stigma, homophobia and masculinity present additional barriers to care that continue to perpetuate health disparities.2
- Mental health, substance use, social support and housing are crucial barriers that must also be addressed to improve healthcare engagement and disease management.2
- There is a need for culturally responsive training for healthcare providers that goes beyond just speaking Spanish. Developing trust and building closer relationships between Latino MSM and healthcare providers, as well as establishing routines that promote and support healthy lifestyles, are keys to improving treatment adherence.2
“ViiV is committed to working together with communities to reduce disparities, with the goal of leaving no person living with HIV behind. As part of our evolving commitment, we are gathering vital information to inform future activities that support Latino/Hispanic communities.” - Marc Meachem, Head, External Affairs, ViiV Healthcare
1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Diagnoses of HIV Infection in the United States and Dependent Areas, 2017. HIV Surveillance Report, 2017; vol. 29. Table 3a, page 21. Published November 2018. Accessed December 7, 2018. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/pdf/library/reports/surveillance/cdc-hiv-surveillance-report-2017-vol-29.pdf.
2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Estimated HIV incidence and prevalence in the United States, 2010–2016. HIV Surveillance Supplemental Report 2019;24(No. 1). Published February 2019. Accessed March 25, 2019. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/library/reports/hiv-surveillance.html.