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Dear Colleague: October 15, 2019

Dear Colleague, information from CDC's Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention

October 15, 2019

Dear Colleague:

October 15 is National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day (NLAAD), sponsored by the Latino Commission on AIDS (LCOA). This year’s theme “Living with HIV or not…we’re in this together,” aims to eliminate HIV-related stigma and reminds us that we all have a role to play in ending the HIV epidemic. To honor this day, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) asks that its partners download and share NLAAD resources, which encourage Hispanics/Latinos to take an HIV test, learn about HIV and risk factors, consider PrEP and condom use as prevention approaches, and stay adherent to HIV treatment to become virally suppressed or undetectable. CDC also has a set of resources supporting NLAAD on its awareness day page.

HIV continues to pose a serious threat to the health of Hispanic/Latino communities. In 2017, Hispanics/Latinos accounted for 9,908 new HIV diagnoses—about 26% of all new HIV diagnoses in the country—even though Hispanics/Latinos make up only 18% of the U.S. 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 time period, HIV diagnoses increased 6% among Hispanics/Latinos overall and increased 18% among Hispanic/Latino gay and bisexual men.

With a focused approach and more collaboration, ending the HIV epidemic among Hispanics/Latinos and Hispanic and Latino gay and bisexual men is possible. Through the new Ending the HIV Epidemic initiative, CDC and other federal agencies will partner and engage with local communities, including jurisdictions in which diagnoses among Hispanic/Latino gay and bisexual men are increasing, to fully implement the initiative’s four key strategies: diagnose all people with HIV as early as possible; treat people with HIV rapidly and effectively to reach sustained viral suppression; prevent new HIV transmissions by using proven interventions, including PrEP and syringe services programs; and respond quickly to potential HIV outbreaks to get needed prevention and treatment services to people who need them. We have access to the most powerful HIV treatment and prevention tools in history—but ending HIV in America is a shared responsibility, and we all have a role to play.

CDC and LCOA urge partners to get involved today and every day by:

  • Learning about HIV testing, condom use, PrEP, and HIV treatment and sharing the information with others;
  • Using and sharing infographics, fact sheets, posters, web banners, and social media content developed to raise awareness about the impact of HIV in Hispanic/Latino communities;
  • Using relevant hashtags such as #NLAAD2019 in social media posts; and
  • Participating in the series of NLAAD 2019 webinars.

Additionally, all of CDC’s Let’s Stop HIV Together / Detengamos Juntos el VIH campaign components offer resources in both English and Spanish. For Hispanic/Latino gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men, this includes Start Talking. Stop HIV./ Inicia la Conversación. Detén el VIH.

Thank you for your commitment to ending HIV; as National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day reminds us, we’re in this together.

Sincerely,

/Eugene McCray/
Eugene McCray, MD
Director
Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention
National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
www.cdc.gov/hiv

/Jonathan Mermin/
Jonathan H. Mermin, MD, MPH
Rear Admiral and Assistant Surgeon General, USPHS
Director
National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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