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Fact Sheet

HIV/AIDS Among Hispanics

January 2006

HIV/AIDS and Hispanics
Today there are an estimated 1.039 million to 1.185 million HIV-positive individuals living in the United States—the largest number ever according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of these, between 252,000-315,000 people do not know they are infected, and thus are suffering from a lack of treatment, while at the same time may be unknowingly spreading the virus.1 About 225,000 more who do know their status are not getting the care they need. These numbers will continue to grow unless everyone takes decisive action against the disease.2

HIV/AIDS is taking a devastating and disproportionate toll on people of color in the United States. Community leaders and organizations can play a critical role in fighting the disease in their neighborhoods, and The Leadership Campaign on AIDS (TLCA) is dedicated to helping them do it.

TLCA: Fighting HIV/AIDS in Communities of Color!

Within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Office of HIV/AIDS Policy's The Leadership Campaign on AIDS (TLCA) is working externally and internally to support the fight against HIV/AIDS in communities of color. TLCA reaches out to community leaders and local and national organizations to improve education, awareness, and action against the disease. TLCA wants to help minority leaders fight the stigma, fear, and denial that exacerbate the problem, and to help build partnership that will promote education, prevention, testing, vaccine awareness, and treatment. TLCA also reaches internally to help improve the coordination, information-sharing, communication efforts, and effectiveness of the Department's HIV/AIDS initiatives and programs.


Know the Facts and Educate, Motivate, and Mobilize Against HIV/AIDS!


  • Account for an estimated 19 percent of total AIDS diagnoses since the beginning of the epidemic through 2004,3 though they make up only 14.2 percent of the population.4
  • The estimated number of Hispanics living with AIDS continues to rise. At the end of 2004, there were an estimated 84,000 Hispanics living with AIDS.3
  • 93,163 are estimated to have died with AIDS through the end of 2004.3
  • AIDS rate for Hispanic adults and adolescents was 25 per 100,000 compared to 7.1 for Whites and 72.1 for Blacks.3

Hispanic adults and adolescents (ages 13 and older):

  • Account for 20 percent of all AIDS cases newly diagnosed among adults and adolescents in 2004.3
  • For ages 35-44, HIV/AIDS was the fourth leading cause of death in 2002.5

Hispanic men:

  • Represent 79 percent of the adult and adolescent Hispanics diagnosed with AIDS in 2004.3
  • 54 percent of Hispanic men living with HIV/AIDS were men who have sex with men, and an additional six percent were men who have sex with men who inject drugs.3

Hispanic women:

  • Account for 15 percent of total AIDS cases diagnosed among women through 2004.3
  • 68 percent of Hispanic women living with HIV/AIDS were infected through heterosexual contact and 30 percent through injection drug use.3

Hispanic children (ages 13 and under):

  • Account for 15 percent of total AIDS diagnoses among children in 2004.3

Did you know?

  • An estimated 944,306 Americans have been diagnosed with AIDS from the beginning of the epidemic through 2004. Of the 42,514 estimated new diagnoses in 2004, 73 percent were male and 27 percent were female. Less than one percent were children under 13.3
  • African Americans account for 40 percent of total estimated AIDS diagnoses through 2004,3 though they make up only 12.2 percent of the population.4 They also represent an estimated 50 percent of persons newly diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in 2004.3*
  • The number of Asian/Pacific Islanders and American Indian/Alaska Natives living with AIDS continues to rise, with an approximately 10 percent increase each year over the past five years.3
  • Women of color account for 80 percent of all women estimated to be living with HIV/AIDS. Women across racial/ethnic groups most commonly report heterosexual contact or injection drug use as their primary modes of exposure to HIV, while males most commonly report homosexual contact and injection drug use.3*

What Can You Do?

  • Learn more about HIV/AIDS and its impact on your community.
  • Protect yourself against HIV infection. Know the risks associated with sex and drug use.
  • Get tested. It's important to know your HIV status to protect yourself and others.
  • Get medical care and support if you're living with HIV. Effective treatments exist.
  • Educate others about HIV/AIDS. Talk openly and honestly about prevention and treatment.
  • Volunteer at a local HIV/AIDS organization.
  • Post fact sheets about HIV/AIDS on bulletin boards and in local newsletters.
  • Organize a community meeting. Invite educators, faith and business leaders, health care professionals, neighbors, and friends to talk about HIV/AIDS and its impact locally. Even if three people show up, change can happen!
  • Help someone living with HIV/AIDS by being a friend.
  • Help end the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
  • Implement an activity to support HIV/AIDS observances such as World AIDS Day on December 1 or National HIV Testing Day on June 27. Visit for more ideas.

To Learn More

  • Visit the CDC National Prevention Information Network at or call 1-800-458-5231.
  • Visit the HIV/AIDS Observance Days Web site at
  • Call the CDC-INFO (formerly the CDC National AIDS Hotline) at 1-800-CDC-INFO (232-4636), TTY 1-888-232-6348.
  • Call your doctor or other health care provider.
  • Contact your local or state public health department.

* In the 35 areas with longstanding HIV reporting.

The terms "African American" and "Black" are used interchangeably to include those individuals who self-identify as either. The term "Hispanic" includes those individuals who self-identify as "Latino/a" or "Hispanic."


  1. Glynn M., Rhodes P. Estimated HIV prevalence in the United States at the end of 2003. National HIV Prevention Conference; June 2005; Atlanta. Abstract 595.
  2. Fleming, P.L., et al., "HIV Prevalence in the United States, 2000," 9th Annual Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, Feb. 24-8, 2002, Seattle, WA, Abstract 11.
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HIV/AIDS Surveillance Report 2004, Vol. 16. Available at :
  4. U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey 2004. Available at, Accessed Nov. 2005.
  5. Anderson, Robert N.; et al, National Vital Statistics Reports, Deaths: Leading Causes for 2002. Vol. 53, No. 17. March 7, 2005.

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This article was provided by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
See Also
HIV & Me: A Guide to Living With HIV for Hispanics
The Body en Español
More HIV Statistics on the U.S. Latino Community