HIV Cases Rise Amongst Oregon Latinos
April 23, 2014
This article was reported by Jefferson Public Radio.
Jefferson Public Radio reported that while overall HIV incidence in Oregon is declining, rates among Latinos are increasing. Latinos account for 20 percent of new HIV cases while representing only 12 percent of the population, and are contracting HIV at double the rate of non-Hispanic whites in the state.
According to Michael Anderson Nathe with the Cascade AIDS Project, Latinos are more apt to receive late diagnoses, often not until HIV has progressed to the late stages of AIDS. Some Latinos die quickly after diagnosis. Nathe contends that stigma from being labeled gay and fear of deportation hold Latinos back from being tested. "There's definitely a lower sense of perceived risk for HIV in Latino communities. Immigration status is a big barrier as well. There are folks who when interviewed about living with HIV expressed fears of being deported," Nathe said.
Latino women are at more risk than Latino males, partly due to the lack of power in their relationships and influence from the Catholic Church. "Most of these women live with a partner who is the one who makes the decision, so she has no say. So when it comes to birth control or negotiating safer sex, it's either the husband's way or no way," said Maricela Berumen, also with the Cascade AIDS Project.
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
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