Hispanics in U.S. Contract HIV Through Different Transmission Routes Based on Birthplace, MMWR Study Says
October 12, 2007
HIV-positive Hispanics living in the U.S. contract the virus through different transmission routes primarily based on where they were born, according to a study published Thursday in CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Reuters reports.
The differences in HIV transmission routes among Hispanics in part is because of cultural and socioeconomic differences among Hispanic subgroups, including stigma associated with homosexuality, the study said. Hispanics have the second-highest HIV rate among all racial and ethnic groups in the U.S. after blacks, the study noted.
Ken Dominguez, a CDC epidemiologist and study author, said, "In terms of the prevention messages, if you are looking at Hispanics, you can't look upon them as a monolithic group," adding, "You have to think about the various subcategories." Dennis deLeon, president of the New York-based Latino Commission on AIDS, said Hispanics are diverse in the amount of time they have lived in the U.S., as well as in levels of education and health literacy. He added that CDC "for too long" has been "treating" Hispanics as "all the same."
DeLeon also questioned the decrease in HIV diagnoses among Hispanics because the report did not include data from some states with large Hispanic populations, such as California (Dunham, Reuters, 10/11).
Several advocacy groups on Oct. 15 will host the National Latino AIDS Awareness Day in an effort to increase HIV awareness and testing among Hispanics, the Orlando Sentinel reports (Ramos, Orlando Sentinel, 10/12).
The study is available online.
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This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.