According to U.S. Census 2000 data, 35.3 million, or 12.5% of United States residents are Latino/Hispanic. Of the 35.3 million Latino residents, 7.3% are Mexican; 1.2% are Puerto Rican; 0.4% are Cuban; and 3.6% are from “other” Latino groups. These figures do not include the 3.8 million residents of Puerto Rico.
The growth of the Latino population in the U.S. has been dramatic over the last 10 years. From 1990 to 2000, the Latino population increased by 57.6%, from 22.4 million in 1990, to 35.3 million in 2000. This is significant when compared to the 13.2% growth of the overall U.S. population during this same time period.
Geographically, half of all Latinos living in the United States reside in two states: California and Texas. However, different Latino groups are concentrated in different states. For example, the largest Puerto Rican population (outside of Puerto Rico) resides in New York and Florida, whereas the largest Mexican populations are reported to be living in California and Texas.
|The impact of HIV and AIDS
in Latino communities is
compared to other racial
and ethnic groups.
Although current numbers of HIV and AIDS cases among Latinos are not increasing as quickly as the population figures reported by the Census, the impact of HIV and AIDS in Latino communities is disproportionate when compared to other racial and ethnic groups. In 2000, Latinos represented 13% of the U.S. population (including residents of Puerto Rico), but accounted for 19% of the total number of new AIDS cases reported among adults and adolescents (8,140 of 41,960 cases). The annual reported AIDS rate per 100,000 population (the number of new cases of a disease reported during a specific time period) among Latinos in 2000 was 30.4. This was almost four times the rate for Whites (7.9), but lower than the rate for African Americans (74.2). As demonstrated in the Census data, Latinos in the United States include a diverse mixture of ethnic groups and cultures. Similarly, as reported in the CDC HIV/AIDS Surveillance Report, Volume 12, Number 2, exposure/transmission categories for U.S.-born Latinos and Latinos born in other countries vary greatly (see chart below). As a result, there is a need for specifically targeted prevention efforts.
who have sex with Men
According to the HIV/AIDS Surveillance Report, Volume 12, Number 2, between 1993 and 1999, the characteristics of persons living with AIDS in the U.S. were changing. The epidemic was expanding, particularly in minority populations. In 1993, 18% of those estimated to be living with AIDS were Latino, while in 1999, 20% were Latino. By comparison, non-Latino whites represented 46% of people estimated to be living with AIDS in 1993, but that number had fallen to 38% by 1999. Cumulatively, males account for the largest proportion (77%) of AIDS cases reported among Latinos in the United States, although the proportion of cases among women (23%) is rising.
From the beginning of the epidemic through December 2000, 114,019 Latino men have been reported with AIDS in the United States. Of these cases, men who have sex with men (MSM) represent 42%, injection drug users (IDUs)
account for 35% of cases; 6% of cases were due to heterosexual contact. About 7%
of cases are among Latino men who both had sex with men and injected drugs.
Among men born in Puerto Rico, however, injection drug use accounts for a
significantly higher proportion of cases than male-to-male sex. For adult and
adolescent Latinas, heterosexual contact accounts for the largest proportion
(47%) of the 25,643 cumulative AIDS cases. Among Latinas, most cases are linked
to sex with an injection drug user. Injection drug use accounts for an
additional 40% of cumulative AIDS cases among U.S. Latinas.
Large groups of Latinos reside in states such as California, Florida, New York, Texas, and the territory of Puerto Rico. Data from CDC’s HIV/AIDS Surveillance Supplemental Report, Volume 7, Number 1, indicate that the geographic distribution of reported AIDS cases among Latinos follows a similar pattern. (See chart below.) This type of data is just one example of the information used to develop epidemiologic profiles for each state and locality through the HIV prevention community planning process. These epidemiologic profiles, in turn, inform the development of a comprehensive plan for HIV prevention appropriate to that jurisdiction. (For more information on the impact of HIV/AIDS in a jurisdiction, contact the state or local health department.)
with Highest Number of Latinos Living with AIDS Through 1999
According to CDC’s Guidance for HIV Prevention Community
Planning, each Comprehensive HIV Prevention Plan, accompanying a jurisdictional health department application to CDC
for prevention funds, must include accurate demographic data on the racial and ethnic make-up of each CPG. The Division of
HIV/AIDS Prevention at CDC compiles this demographic data on racial/ethnic minority group CPG members and analyzes it on an
aggregate basis. Data specific to Latino CPG membership during the last four years are compared here with AIDS prevalence
among Latinos, through 2000. (See chart on Community Planning Membership.)
The CDC Guidance for HIV Prevention Community Planning states that the CPG process should “…attempt to accommodate a
reasonable number of representatives without becoming so large that it cannot effectively function.” While the national
data in this chart is disappointing, it may not represent what may be happening in each state or locality in terms of Latino
representation on planning groups. For example, some planning groups may be using Latino advisory bodies or other avenues
to obtain input on community planning. However, the Guidance also states, “HIV prevention programs developed with input
from affected communities are likely to be successful in garnering the necessary public support for effective implementation
and in preventing the transmission of HIV infection.” Considering this statement, the disparity between Latino CPG
membership and AIDS prevalence, and the disproportionate impact of the AIDS epidemic on Latinos, it is clear that increased
Latino representation on CPGs would contribute to more effective prevention programs targeted to Latinos.
|It is clear that increased Latino representation
on CPGs would contribute to more effective prevention programs
targeted to Latinos
Key factors in design and development of HIV prevention programs and interventions for Latinos include population and
demographic information as reported in Census 2000, disproportionate numbers of new AIDS cases reported among Latinos,
and disproportionately representation of Latinos on CPGs. With the majority of Latinos living in areas where AIDS case
rates are relatively high, infection is likely to continue to increase among Latino groups (Carpio, 2001). This, along
with continuing trends in new infections among Latinos, underscores the importance of Latino involvement in the HIV
prevention community planning process.
Go to Importance of Latino Representation