HIV and Hispanics/Latinos

HIV continues to be a serious threat to the health of Hispanic/Latinoa communities. In 2017, adult and adolescent Hispanics/Latinos made up 26% (9,889) of the 38,739 new HIV diagnosesb in the United States (US) and dependent areas.c

The Numbers

HIV Diagnoses

This banner shows 26% of the 38,739 new HIV diagnoses in the United States and dependent areas were among Hispanics/Latinos, 22% were among Hispanic/Latino men, and 3% were among Hispanic women/Latinas.

This pie chart shows new HIV diagnoses among Hispanics/Latinos in the United States and dependent areas in 2017 by transmission category and sex. Hispanic/Latino men by transmission category, male-to-male sexual contact = 86%; heterosexual contact = 7%; injection drug use = 4%; male-to-male sexual contact and injection drug use 3%; other = less than 1%. Hispanic/Latino women by transmission category, heterosexual contact = 88%; injection drug use = 12%; other = less than 1%.

Source: CDC. Diagnoses of HIV infection in the United States and dependent areas, 2017 pdf icon[PDF – 6 MB]. HIV Surveillance Report 2018;29.

This bar chart shows new HIV diagnoses among the most affected subpopulations United States and dependent areas in 2017. Black/African American, male-to-male sexual contact = 9,807; Hispanic/Latino, male-to-male sexual contact = 7,436; White, male-to-male sexual contact = 6,982; Black/African American women, heterosexual contact = 4,008; Black/African American men, heterosexual contact = 1,717; Hispanic women/Latinas, heterosexual contact = 1,058; White women, heterosexual contact = 999.

Subpopulations representing 2% or less of HIV diagnoses are not reflected in this chart.
Source: CDC. Diagnoses of HIV infection in the United States and dependent areas, 2017 pdf icon[PDF – 6 MB]. HIV Surveillance Report 2018;29.

From 2010 to 2016, HIV diagnoses increased 6% among Hispanics/Latinos overall in 50 states and the District of Columbia. But trends varied by transmission category.

This trend chart shows HIV diagnoses among Hispanics/Latinos in 50 states and the District of Columbia from 2010 to 2016. HIV diagnoses increased 6% among Hispanics/Latinos overall. Hispanic/Latino men by transmission category, male-to-male sexual contact increased 21%; injection drug use decreased 39%; male-to-male sexual contact and injection drug use decreased 21%; and heterosexual contact decreased 17%. Hispanic women/Latinas by transmission category, heterosexual contact decreased 20% and injection drug use decreased 25%.

Source: CDC. NCHHSTP AtlasPlus. Accessed October 8, 2019.

Living With HIV

This infographic shows the continuum of care data for adult and adolescent Hispanics/Latinos with HIV. At the end of 2016, an estimated 254,600 Hispanics/Latinos had HIV. 5 in 6 knew they had the virus. For every 100 Hispanics/Latinos with HIV in 2016, 60 received some HIV care, 49 were retained in care, and 51 were virally suppressed. 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.

Sources: CDC. Estimated HIV incidence and prevalence in the United States 2010–2016 pdf icon[PDF – 3 MB]. HIV Surveillance Supplemental Report. 2018;24(1).
CDC. NCHHSTP AtlasPlus. Accessed October 8, 2019.

Deaths

In 2016, there were 2,863 deaths among Hispanics/Latinos with diagnosed HIV in the US and 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 and its partners are pursuing a high-impact prevention approach to maximize the effectiveness of current HIV prevention interventions and strategies among Hispanics/Latinos. Funding state, territorial, and local health departments is CDC’s largest investment in HIV prevention.

  • Under the strategic partnerships and planning cooperative agreement, CDC will fund a national organization to support integrated HIV programs through the development of national partnerships and enhanced communication efforts. This funding opportunity will also provide funding to health departments to engage community partners in a planning process to help develop jurisdictional Ending the HIV Epidemic plans.
  • Under the integrated HIV surveillance and prevention cooperative agreement, CDC awarded 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 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.
  • 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.
  • CDC is funding a demonstration project in 4 jurisdictions to identify active HIV transmission networks and implement HIV interventions for Hispanic/Latino gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men. Activities include assessing transmission and risk networks, HIV testing, and linking people with HIV to care and treatment.
  • Under the flagship community-based organization cooperative agreement, CDC awarded about $42 million per year to community organizations. This award directs resources to support the delivery of effective HIV prevention strategies to key populations.
  • Through its Let’s Stop HIV Together campaign (formerly Act Against AIDS), CDC provides Hispanics/Latinos with culturally and linguistically appropriate messages about HIV testing, prevention, and treatment. For example,
    • Stop HIV Stigma highlights the role that each person plays in stopping HIV stigma and gives voice to people living with HIV, as well as their friends and family.
    • Doing It motivates all adults to get tested for HIV and know their status.
    • Start Talking. Stop HIV. focuses on gay and bisexual men and encourages open communication between sex partners and friends about HIV prevention strategies.
    • HIV Treatment Works shows how people with HIV have been successful getting care and staying on treatment.
    • Partnering and Communicating Together (PACT) raises awareness about testing, prevention, and retention in care among populations disproportionately affected by HIV, including Hispanics/Latinos.

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, 2017 pdf icon[PDF – 6 MB]HIV Surveillance Report 2018;29.
  2. CDC. Estimated HIV incidence and prevalence in the United States 2010-2016 pdf icon[PDF – 3 MB]HIV Surveillance Supplemental Report 2019;24(1).
  3. CDC. Monitoring selected national HIV prevention and care objectives by using HIV surveillance data—United States and 6 dependent areas, 2017 pdf icon[PDF – 3 MB]. HIV Surveillance Supplemental Report 2019;24(3).
  4. CDC. NCHHSTP AtlasPlus. Accessed October 8, 2019.
  5. CDC. Selected national HIV prevention and care outcomes pdf icon[PDF – 2 MB] (slides).
  6. CDC. HIV prevention for Hispanic/Latino gay and bisexual men pdf icon[PDF – 731 KB] (issue brief).
  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 abstractexternal icon.
  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 abstractexternal icon.
  9. 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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