October 15th is National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day, and this year’s theme is “We’ll Defeat AIDS con Ganas!” But why is it important to talk about acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) in the Latino community? Latinxs are disproportionally affected by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)—the virus that causes AIDS. Our community represents 17% of the total U.S. population, but accounts for 21% of all new HIV infections and 21% of people living with HIV. In addition, research shows that Latinxs are more likely to receive late diagnosis and HIV care compared to other races and ethnicities.
After the horrific shooting on June 12, 2016 at Pulse, a popular gay bar in Orlando, Florida, many of the victims were in extreme need of blood transfusions. Driven by empathy and solidarity with the victims, gay and bisexual men rushed to area hospitals and blood donation centers to help, along with scores of their Orlando neighbors. Sadly, hundreds identifying as men who have sex with men (MSM) were turned away because current FDA regulations prohibit gay and bisexual men from donating blood unless they abstain from sex with other men for a full year before donating blood.
For those who are at high risk for HIV infection, there’s a medical approach that reduces risks of contracting HIV dramatically. It’s called pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP. PrEP uses antiretroviral medication (usually Truvada™, a two-drug combination of tenofovir and emtricitabine) to help HIV-negative people stay negative, even if they have sex without a condom with partners whose HIV status is either positive or unknown.
By David Martin, PhD, ABPP (Senior Director, APA Office on AIDS) June 27 is National HIV Testing Day. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 be tested at least once as part of routine medical care. People who have vaginal or anal sex without […]
By Efua Andoh (Public Interest Communications) Women and girls living with HIV in America are mothers, daughters, sisters, and friends. Women and girls affected by the epidemic – particularly those of color –deserve a voice and their unique needs and challenges require attention. In honor of National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, here is […]
By David Martin, PhD (Senior Director, APA Office on AIDS) I saw my first AIDS patient in 1983, a time when its etiology was unknown and when everyone—community members and healthcare professionals alike—was terrified about the prospects of contracting a rapidly fatal illness. I remember having to don a hospital gown, gloves, booties, and a […]
By David Martin, PhD (Director, APA Office on AIDS) Did you know that about 1.2 million people in the United States are living with HIV and 1 in 5 don’t know they are infected? June 27 is National HIV Testing Day. Everyone should consider getting tested for HIV – men who have sex with men […]