June 30, 2004
U.S. Census estimates for 2000 showed nearly 100,000 Hispanics living in South Carolina. University of South Carolina researchers estimate 500,000 Hispanics live in the state today, not including those in the country illegally. Hispanic Outreach of South Carolina regularly helps Latinos get medical care, and it assists with housing, educational and job-training needs.
Three percent of the people with new HIV diagnoses in 2004 in the Palmetto Health District -- including Richland, Lexington, Newberry and Fairfield counties -- are Hispanic. Although significantly less than the 78 percent African-American and 19 percent white HIV cases reported, Morales said the number is a concern. "The numbers are growing and the population is growing so we need to do something right now," he noted.