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National News

Report: Latinos Must Play Greater Role in HIV/AIDS Planning

May 29, 2002

Latinos must play a more active role in community planning processes to fight HIV/AIDS, according to a new report, "The State of Latinos in Community Planning." Although Latino membership in community planning groups has plateaued at 10 percent to 13 percent over the past four years, Latinos made up 20 percent of AIDS cases reported through June 2000, the report said. Latinos make up 12.5 percent of the US population, according to the Census 2000 data.

Several barriers have slowed the inclusion of Latinos in the HIV prevention planning process, the report found. Among the social factors identified were the stigma attached to the virus, the diversity of the Latino population, limited educational backgrounds, and "interlinked issues of religion, fatalism, machismo, gender and denial." Other barriers ranged from recruitment into community planning groups to cultural sensitivity, lack of access to information and a poor showing of results to date. The report said increased Latino representation on community planning groups "would contribute to more effective prevention programs targeted to Latinos."

Such an increase would require three "crucial" steps by Latino communities: providing local expertise to support prevention programs that consider the special characteristics, needs and preferences of the communities these programs are designed to reach; helping develop comprehensive HIV prevention plans; and changing behavioral norms. The report also noted "the need for national and local Latino leadership with a stronger voice in the development of HIV prevention policy and program design."

The report was written by the National Minority AIDS Council, the CDC, the National Association of People with AIDS, the US-Mexico Border Health Association, the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors and the Center for Community-Based Health Strategies.

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Adapted from:
AIDS Policy & Law
05.10.02


  
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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.
 
See Also
HIV & Me: A Guide to Living With HIV for Hispanics
The Body en Español
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More on HIV Awareness and Prevention in the U.S. Latino Community

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