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HIV and Hispanics/Latinos

HIV continues to be a serious threat to the health of Hispanic/Latinoa communities. In 2016, Hispanics/Latinos accounted for 26% (10,292) of the 40,324 new HIV diagnoses in the United States and 6 dependent areas.b

The Numbers

HIV Diagnosesc

In 2016:

  • 10,292 Hispanics/Latinos received an HIV diagnosis in the United States and 6 dependent areas.
  • Eighty-seven percent (8,999) of Hispanics/Latinos who received an HIV diagnosis were men and 12% (1,277) were women.
  • Among Hispanic/Latino men, 85% (7,689) of diagnosed HIV infections were attributed to male-to-male sexual contact.
  • Among Hispanic women/Latinas, 88% (1,121) of diagnosed HIV infections were attributed to heterosexual contact.d

From 2011 to 2015:

HIV diagnoses remained stable among Hispanics/Latinos overall.

  • Hispanic women/Latinas: Decreased 14%.
  • Hispanic/Latino gay and bisexual men: Increased 13%. e
  • Hispanic/Latino gay and bisexual men aged 13 to 24: Increased 19%.

HIV Diagnoses Among the Most-Affected Subpopulations in the United States and 6 Dependent Areas, 2016

This bar chart shows the estimated new HIV diagnoses for the most-affected subpopulations in the United States and 6 dependent areas in 2016. Black, Male-to-male sexual contact = 10,226; Hispanic/Latino, Male-to-male sexual contact = 7,689; White, Male-to-male sexual contact = 7,392; Black Women, Heterosexual contact = 4,189; Black Men, Heterosexual contact = 1,927; Hispanic Women/Latinas, Heterosexual contact = 1,121; White Women, Heterosexual contact = 1,033.

Subpopulations representing 2% or less of all people who received an HIV diagnosis in 2016 are not represented in this chart.

Source: CDC. Diagnoses of HIV infection in the United States and dependent areas, 2016. HIV Surveillance Report 2017;28.

Living With HIV

In the 50 states and the District of Columbia:

  • An estimated 252,400 Hispanics/Latinos had HIV at the end of 2015. Of those, an estimated 84% were aware of their infection.
  • Among all Hispanics/Latinos with HIV in 2015, 59% received HIV medical care in 2015, 49% were retained in HIV care, and 50% had a suppressed viral load.A person with HIV who takes HIV medicine as prescribed and gets and stays virally suppressed or undetectable can stay healthy and has effectively no risk of sexually transmitting HIV to HIV-negative partners.


In 2015, there were 2,863 deaths among Hispanics/Latinos with diagnosed HIV in the United States and 6 dependent areas. These deaths may be due to 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 pass HIV to others.

More Hispanics/Latinos have HIV compared to some other races/ethnicities. Therefore, Hispanics/Latinos have an increased chance of having an HIV-positive partner if they have other Hispanic/Latino partners.

Hispanics/Latinos have higher rates of some sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) than some other races/ethnicities. 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.

Undocumented Hispanics/Latinos may be less likely to use HIV prevention services, get an HIV test, or get treatment for HIV because of concerns about being arrested and deported.

Though not unique to Hispanics/Latinos, stigma, fear, discrimination, and homophobia may impact the lives of some Hispanics/Latinos. These issues may put some Hispanics/Latinos at higher risk for HIV infection.

What CDC Is Doing

CDC funds state and local health departments and community-based organizations (CBOs) to deliver effective HIV prevention interventions for Hispanics/Latinos. For example:

  • Under the current funding opportunity CDC will award around $400 million per year to health departments for surveillance and prevention efforts. This funding opportunity will direct resources to the populations and geographic areas of greatest need, while supporting core HIV surveillance and prevention efforts across the United States.
  • CDC is funding a demonstration project in 4 jurisdictions to use molecular HIV surveillance to identify active HIV transmission networks and implement HIV interventions for Hispanic/Latino gay and bisexual men. Activities include identifying molecular clusters, assessing transmission and risk networks, HIV testing, and linking/re-engaging HIV-positive persons in care.
  • 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 goals of identifying undiagnosed HIV infections and linking those who have HIV to care and prevention services.
  • In 2015, CDC added three funding opportunities to help health departments reduce HIV infections and improve HIV medical care among gay and bisexual men.
    • Targeted Highly-Effective Interventions to Reverse the HIV Epidemic (THRIVE) supports state and local health department demonstration projects to develop community collaborations that provide comprehensive HIV prevention and care services for gay and bisexual men of color.
    • Training and Technical Assistance for THRIVE strengthens the capacity of funded health departments and their collaborative partners to plan, implement, and sustain (through ongoing engagement, assessment, linkage, and retention) comprehensive prevention, care, behavioral health, and social services models for gay and bisexual men of color at risk for and living with HIV infection.
    • Project PrIDE (PrEP, Implementation, Data2Care, and Evaluation) supports 12 health departments in implementing PrEPand Data to Care demonstration projects for gay and bisexual men of color.
  • CDC’s Act Against AIDS initiative raises awareness about HIV through multiple campaigns and partnerships. For example:

a Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race.
b American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, the Republic of Palau, and the US Virgin Islands.
c HIV diagnoses refers to the number of people who received a diagnosis of HIV during a given time period, not when the people were infected.
d Heterosexual contact with a person known to have, or be at high risk for, HIV infection.
e The term male-to-male sexual contact is used in CDC surveillance systems. It indicates a behavior that transmits HIV infection, not how individuals self-identify in terms of their sexuality. This fact sheet uses the term gay and bisexual men.
f People are considered retained in care if they get two viral load or CD4 tests at least 3 months apart in a year. (CD4 cells are the cells in the body’s immune system that are destroyed by HIV.) Viral suppression is based on the most recent viral load test.


  1. CDC. Diagnoses of HIV infection in the United States and dependent areas, 2016. HIV Surveillance Report 2017;28.
  2. CDC. Estimated incidence and prevalence in the United States, 2010-2015. HIV Surveillance Supplemental Report 2018;23(1).
  3. CDC. Monitoring selected national HIV prevention and care objectives by using HIV surveillance data—United States and 6 dependent areas, 2016. HIV Surveillance Supplemental Report 2018;23(4).
  4. CDC. Selected national HIV prevention and care outcomes (slides). Accessed August 22, 2018.
  5. CDC. Sexually Transmitted Disease surveillance, 2016 (report). Accessed August 22, 2018.
  6. CDC. Diagnoses and prevalence of HIV infection among Hispanics/Latinos—United States, 2008-2013. MMWR 2015;64(39):1097-103.
  7. 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 abstract.
  8. 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 abstract.
  9. Duran D, Usman HR, Beltrami J, Alvarez ME, Valleroy L, Lyles CM. HIV counseling and testing among Hispanics at CDC-funded sites in the United States, 2007. Am J Public Health 2010;100(Suppl 1):S152-8. PubMed abstract.
  10. 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 abstract.
  11. Shedlin MG, Decena CU, Oliver-Velez D. Initial acculturation and HIV risk among new Hispanic immigrants. J Natl Med Assoc 2005;97(Suppl 7):S32-37. PubMed abstract.