Disclosure: This post is made possible by support from the We Can Stop HIV One Conversation at a Time campaign. All opinions are my own.
Did you know that Latinos in the U.S. in 2010 had an infection rate of HIV 3 times higher than whites?
As a Latina, that statistic surprised me a bit since it just seems really high! Latinos in the United States are disproportionately affected by HIV; although representing 16% of the total U.S. population, they account for 19% of the 1.1 million people living with HIV in the United States and 21% of new HIV infections each year. If current trends continue, an estimated 1 in 36 Hispanic/Latino men and 1 in 106 Hispanic/Latina women will be diagnosed with HIV at some point in their lifetime.
So why am I telling you all of this? Well I feel as an influencer, it is my duty to share information that can impact your health and lifestyle. I also think that just because my focus is on travel, doesn't mean I can't share with you some content on how you can become more aware of your surroundings and your health.
Here you have it, I am working on a campaign with the folks from Center for Disease Control to raise awareness about the impact of HIV among Hispanics and Latinos in the United States. CDC recently launched a new national HIV and AIDS awareness campaign, We Can Stop HIV One Conversation at a Time/Podemos Detener el VIH Una Conversación a la Vez (www.cdc.gov/OneConversation). The campaign encourages Latinos to talk openly about HIV and AIDS with their families, friends, partners, and communities.
One Conversation at a Time is a call to action for the general Latino community to talk about HIV and AIDS, increase HIV and AIDS awareness, and decrease HIV-associated stigma and shame. It highlights the importance of each and every conversation to reduce HIV and AIDS among Hispanics and Latinos.
October 15th is National Latino AIDS Awareness Day (NLAAD) – Please join me in having at least one conversation with either a close friend or family member to talk about HIV. It's all about talking through the facts, sharing what you know and how others like yourself (who are not affected) can protect themselves.
Why Talk about HIV/AIDS?
Some people believe talking about HIV, sex, and sexuality is embarrassing. There can be stigma and shame around homosexuality and HIV. So many people remain silent.
But studies show that talking about HIV/AIDS helps people to know what to do to prevent and treat HIV. This saves lives and protects health. The things to talk about are HIV prevention, HIV testing, and condom use, all of which lower new HIV infections.
For many in our community, family is our primary social unit and source of support. Our family also is the first line in preventing HIV infections. Parents talking with their children are very important. Young Hispanic/Latinos, ages 13-24, made up 20% of all new HIV infections among youth in 2010. This is not acceptable.
You can make a difference by talking openly about sex, sexuality, and HIV/AIDS with our families, partners, and friends.
It is important for there to be a safe and supportive environment to share life-saving information about HIV.