HIV and Hispanics/Latinos

HIV continues to be a serious threat to the health of Hispanic/Latinoa communities. In 2018, adult and adolescent Hispanics/Latinos made up 27% of the 37,968 new HIV diagnosesb in the United States (US) and dependent areas.c

The Numbers

HIV Diagnoses

Of the 37,968 new HIV diagnoses in the US and dependent areas in 2018, 27 percent were among Hispanics/Latinos.

 

New HIV Diagnoses Among Hispanics/Latinos in the US and Dependent Areas by Sex* and Transmission Category, 2018

Most new HIV diagnoses among Hispanics/Latinos were among gay and bisexual men. New HIV diagnoses among Hispanic/Latino men by transmission category in the United States and dependent areas in 2018. Among Hispanic/Latino men, 85 percent of diagnoses were attributed to male-to-male sexual contact, 7 percent were attributed to heterosexual contact, 4 percent were attributed to male-to-male sexual contact and injection drug use, 4 percent were attributed to injection drug use, less than 1 percent were attributed to perinatal, and less than 1 percent were attributed to other. New HIV diagnoses among Hispanic/Latina women by transmission category in the United States and dependent areas in 2018. Among Hispanic/Latina women, 87 percent of diagnoses were attributed to heterosexual contact, 12 percent were attributed to injection drug use, less than 1 percent were attributed to perinatal.

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Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race.

* Based on sex at birth and includes transgender people.
† People who got HIV through perinatal transmission but aged 13 or older at the time of diagnosis.
‡ Includes blood transfusion, hemophilia, and risk factors not reported or not identified.

Source: CDC. Diagnoses of HIV infection in the United States and dependent areas, 2018 (updated). HIV Surveillance Report 2020;31.

 

New HIV Diagnoses Among the Most-Affected Subpopulations in the United States and Dependent Areas, 2018

Some Hispanics/Latinos are among the most-affected subpopulations in the US and dependent areas.

This bar chart shows new HIV diagnoses among the most affected subpopulations United States and dependent areas in 2018. Black/African American, male-to-male sexual contact = 9,444; Hispanic/Latino, male-to-male sexual contact = 7,653; White, male-to-male sexual contact = 6,372; Black/African American women, heterosexual contact = 3,758; Black/African American men, heterosexual contact = 1,739; Hispanic women/Latinas, heterosexual contact = 1,109; White women, heterosexual contact = 956.

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Subpopulations representing 2% or less of all people who received an HIV diagnosis in 2018 are not represented in this chart.

* Black refers to people having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa. African American is a term often used for Americans of African descent with ancestry in North America.
† Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race.

Source: CDC. Diagnoses of HIV infection in the United States and dependent areas, 2018 (updated). HIV Surveillance Report 2020;31.

 

From 2014 to 2018, HIV diagnoses remained stable among Hispanics/Latinos overall. Although trends varied for different groups of Hispanics/Latinos, HIV diagnoses declined for some groups, including Hispanic women/Latinas and young Hispanics/Latinos aged 13 to 24.

HIV Diagnoses Among Hispanics/Latinos in the US and Dependent Areas, 2014-2018

This trend chart shows HIV diagnoses among Hispanics/Latinos in the United States and dependent areas from 2014 to 2018. By age, HIV diagnoses decreased 9 percent among Hispanics/Latinos aged 13 to 24; HIV diagnoses increased 10 percent among Hispanics/Latinos aged 25 to 34; HIV diagnoses decreased 10 percent among Hispanics/Latinos aged 35 to 44; HIV diagnoses remained stable among Hispanics/Latinos aged 45 to 54; HIV diagnoses increased 12 percent among Hispanics/Latinos aged 55 and older.

This trend chart shows HIV diagnoses among Hispanics/Latinos in the United States and dependent areas from 2014 to 2018. By sex, HIV diagnoses remained stable among Hispanic/Latino men and decreased 9 percent among Hispanic/Latina women.

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Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race.

* Does not include perinatal and other transmission categories.
† Based on sex at birth and includes transgender people.

Source: CDC. Diagnoses of HIV infection in the United States and dependent areas, 2018 (updated). HIV Surveillance Report 2020;31.

 

Living With HIV

 

Hispanics/Latinos With HIV in 50 States and the District of Columbia, 2018

At the end of 2018, an estimated 1.2 million Americans had HIV in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Of those, 274,100 were Hispanics/Latinos.

5 in 6 Hispanics/Latinos knew they had the virus.

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It is important for Hispanics/Latinos to know their HIV status so they can take medicine to treat HIV if they have the virus. Taking HIV medicine every day can make the viral load undetectable. People who get and keep an undetectable viral load (or stay virally suppressed) can live a long and healthy life. They also have effectively no risk of transmitting HIV to HIV-negative sex partners.

Compared to all people with HIV, Hispanics/Latinos have lower viral suppression rates. More work is needed to increase these rates. For every 100 Hispanics/Latinos with HIV:

61 received some HIV care

49 were retained in care

53 were virally suppressed

For comparison, for every 100 people overall with HIV, 65 received some HIV care, 50 were retained in care, and 56 were virally suppressed.

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* Had 2 viral load or CD4 tests at least 3 months apart in a year.
 Based on most recent viral load test.

Source: CDC. Estimated HIV incidence and prevalence in the United States 2014–2018pdf iconHIV Surveillance Supplemental Report 2020;25(1).
Source: CDC. Selected national HIV prevention and care outcomespdf icon (slides).

Deaths

In 2018, there were 3,044 deaths among Hispanics/Latinos with diagnosed HIV in the US and dependent areas. These deaths could be from any cause.

Prevention Challenges

  • 1 in 6 Hispanics/Latinos with HIV are unaware they have it. People who do not know they have HIV cannot take advantage of HIV care and treatment and may unknowingly transmit HIV to others.
  • Racism, discrimination, HIV stigma, and homophobia can negatively impact risk-taking behaviors, knowledge of HIV status, HIV care, and other needed services for many Hispanics/Latinos.
  • Certain subgroups of Hispanics/Latinos have high rates of some sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Having another STD can increase a person’s chance of getting or transmitting HIV.
  • Poverty, migration patterns, lower educational level, and language barriers may make it harder for some Hispanics/Latinos to get HIV testing and care.
  • Some Hispanics/Latinos may not use HIV prevention services, get an HIV test, or get treatment if they have HIV due to fear of disclosing their immigration status.
  • Hispanics/Latinos experience high levels of mistrust of the health care system. Lower levels of trust can reduce the likelihood of clinic visits and result in lower use of and adherence to antiretroviral medications.

What CDC Is Doing

CDC is pursuing a high-impact HIV prevention approach to maximize the effectiveness of HIV prevention interventions and strategies. Funding state, territorial, and local health departments and community-based organizations (CBOs) to develop and implement tailored programs is CDC’s largest investment in HIV prevention. This includes longstanding successful programs and new efforts funded through the Ending the HIV Epidemic initiative. In addition to funding health departments and CBOs, CDC is also strengthening the HIV prevention workforce and developing HIV communication resources for consumers and health care providers.

  • Under the integrated HIV surveillance and prevention cooperative agreement, CDC awards around $400 million per year to health departments for HIV data collection and prevention efforts. This award directs resources to the populations and geographic areas of greatest need, while supporting core HIV surveillance and prevention efforts across the US.
  • In 2019, CDC awarded $12 million to support the development of state and local Ending the HIV Epidemic plans in the nation’s 57 priority areas. To further enhance capacity building efforts, CDC uses HIV prevention resources to fund the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD) with $1.5 million per year to support strategic partnerships, community engagement, peer-to-peer technical assistance, and planning efforts.
  • In 2020, CDC awarded $109 million to 32 state and local health departments that represent the 57 jurisdictions across the United States prioritized in the Ending the HIV Epidemic This award supports the implementation of state and local Ending the HIV Epidemic plans.
  • Under the flagship community-based organization cooperative agreement, CDC awards about $42 million per year to community organizations. This award directs resources to support the delivery of effective HIV prevention strategies to key populations.
  • In 2017, CDC awarded nearly $11 million per year for 5 years to 30 CBOs to provide HIV testing to young gay and bisexual men of color and transgender youth of color, with the goal of identifying undiagnosed HIV infections and linking those who have HIV to care and prevention services.
  • In 2019, CDC awarded a cooperative agreement to strengthen the capacity and improve the performance of the nation’s HIV prevention workforce. New elements include dedicated providers for web-based and classroom-based national training, and technical assistance tailored within four geographic regions.
  • CDC is funding a demonstration project in 4 jurisdictions to identify active HIV transmission networks and implement HIV interventions for Hispanic/Latino gay and bisexual men. Activities include assessing transmission and risk networks, HIV testing, and linking people with HIV to care and treatment.
  • Through its Let’s Stop HIV Together (Detengamos Juntos el VIH) campaign, CDC offers English and Spanish resources about HIV stigma (estigma), testing (prueba), prevention (prevención), and treatment (tratamiento). Our Spanish campaign resources are created in Spanish or transcreated (tailored and recreated) to meet the cultural needs of Hispanics/Latinos. This campaign is part of the Ending the HIV Epidemic initiative.

a Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race.
b HIV diagnoses refers to the number of people who received a diagnosis of HIV during a given time period, not when the people got HIV infection.
c Unless otherwise noted, the term United States (US) includes the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the 6 dependent areas of American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, the Republic of Palau, and the US Virgin Islands.

  1. CDC. Diagnoses of HIV infection in the United States and dependent areas, 2018HIV Surveillance Report 2020;31.
  2. CDC. Estimated HIV incidence and prevalence in the United States, 2014-2018pdf iconHIV Surveillance Supplemental Report 2020;25(1).
  3. CDC. Monitoring selected national HIV prevention and care objectives by using HIV surveillance data—United States and 6 dependent areas, 2018pdf iconHIV Surveillance Supplemental Report 2020;25(2).
  4. CDC. Selected national HIV prevention and care outcomespdf icon (slides).
  5. Albarracin J, Plambeck CR. Demographic factors and sexist beliefs as predictors of condom use among Latinos in the USA. AIDS Care 2010;22(8):1021-8. PubMed abstractexternal icon.
  6. del Rio C. Latinos and HIV care in the Southeastern United States: New challenges complicating longstanding problems. Clin Infect Dis 2011;53(5):488-9. PubMed abstractexternal icon.
  7. Reisen CA, Zea MC, Bianchi FT, Poppen PJ, Shedlin MG, Penha MM. Latino gay and bisexual men’s relationships with non-gay-identified men who have sex with men. J Homosex 2010;57(8):1004-21. PubMed abstractexternal icon.
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