National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day

Two Latino men sitting on grass hugging

National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day external icon* (NLAAD), coordinated by the Latino Commission on AIDS external icon, is October 15. This year’s theme, Living with HIV or not … we’re in this Together, reminds us that regardless of our HIV status, we can work together to reduce new HIV diagnoses, improve health, and end HIV in the United States. Join us on NLAAD to increase awareness about HIV among Hispanics/Latinos † and learn more about HIV testing, prevention, and treatment.

Hispanics/Latinos accounted for 26% of new HIV diagnoses in the United States and dependent areas‡ in 2017, despite making up only 18% of the US population. From 2010 to 2016, new HIV diagnoses decreased 20% among Hispanic women/Latinas and decreased 17% among Hispanic/Latino heterosexual men. Although these encouraging signs show progress in the nation’s HIV prevention efforts, we still have work to do. During the same period, HIV diagnoses increased 6% among Hispanics/Latinos overall and increased 18% among Hispanic/Latino gay and bisexual men.

On NLAAD, remember that no matter your HIV status, you can raise awareness about the importance of HIV testing, promote HIV prevention and treatment options, and help fight stigma. We also urge everyone to learn more about the proposed federal initiative, Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America, which gives us hope that new HIV diagnoses can be dramatically reduced in the United States in the next decade.

Poster: Stigma is like the air. You don't see it, but you feel it.

October 15 is National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day. Let’s Stop HIV Together is a national campaign that raises awareness that we all have a role to play in stopping HIV stigma.

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What Can Everyone Do?

Get the facts. Learn the facts about HIV and share this information with your partners, family, friends, and community. Visit CDC’s Let’s Stop HIV Together campaign (formerly Act Against AIDS) for resources aimed at stopping HIV stigma and promoting HIV testing, prevention, and treatment.

Get tested. 1 in 6 Hispanics/Latinos with HIV do not know they have it. CDC recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 get tested for HIV at least once as part of routine health care and those at high risk get tested at least once a year. Some sexually active gay and bisexual men may benefit from more frequent testing (every 3 to 6 months).

To find a testing site near you, use the Let’s Stop HIV Together testing locator, text your ZIP code to KNOWIT (566948), or call 1-800-CDC-INFO (232-4636). You can also use a home testing kit, available in drugstores or online.

If you have HIV, get in care and stay on treatment. Start treatment as soon as possible after you get a diagnosis. It is important to take your HIV medicine as prescribed by your doctor, to make sure you keep an undetectable viral load.  People who have HIV and who take medication daily as prescribed and maintain an undetectable viral load can live long, healthy lives and have effectively no risk of sexually transmitting the virus to an HIV-negative partner. See your provider regularly to monitor your health.

If you know you are HIV-negative, the following activities are highly effective for preventing HIV:

  • Take medicine to prevent HIV (called PrEP) if you are HIV-negative and at high risk for getting the virus.  Use the PrEP locator to find a PrEP provider in your area.
  • Use condoms the right way every time you have anal or vaginal sex.
  • Never share needles, syringes, or other drug injection equipment.
  • Choose to abstain from sex or injection drug use. Abstaining from sex (not having sex) and not injecting drugs are 100% effective ways to make sure you won’t get HIV from sex or injecting drugs.

The following actions can also help lower your risk of getting HIV:

  • If you are unable to use a new syringe every time you inject drugs, clean your syringes and other drug injection equipment with bleach and clean water.
  • Limit your number of sex partners.
  • Get tested and treated for other sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Choose sexual activities with little to no risk, like oral sex.

You can learn more about how to protect yourself and your partners and get information tailored to meet your needs from CDC’s HIV Risk Reduction Tool.

What Can CDC Partners Do?

Health departments, community-based organizations (CBOs), providers, and other partners can:

* The term Latinx is used by advocacy groups and serves as a gender-neutral alternative to Latino/Latina.
Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race.
American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, the Republic of Palau, and the US Virgin Islands.

Page last reviewed: October 15, 2019