Dear Colleague: National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day

Content From: Centers for Disease Control and PreventionPublished: October 15, 20214 min read


Cross-posted from CDC Newsroom

National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day

Dear Colleague,

October 15 is National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day (NLAAD), a day to raise awareness about the impact of HIV on the Hispanic/Latino community in the United States. This year on NLAAD, we encourage you to join us in reducing HIV stigma, preventing new HIV infections among Hispanic/Latino people, and helping Hispanic/Latino people with and without HIV.

In recent years, we have seen progress in reducing new HIV infections and diagnoses among some groups of Hispanic/Latino people. From 2015 to 2019, new HIV diagnoses declined 7% among Hispanic/Latina women and 11% among young Hispanic/Latino gay and bisexual men. While this progress indicates the success of focused efforts, we still have a great deal more work to do.

In 2019, more than 10,000 Hispanic/Latino people received an HIV diagnosis, representing 29% of all new HIV diagnoses in the United States and dependent areas. In that same year, Hispanic/Latino people accounted for 29% of new HIV diagnoses (38% of whom were aged 25-34) and 18% of the U.S. population. Many social and structural factors, such as limited income and health care access, housing instability, discrimination, homophobia, transphobia, and systemic racism have a significant influence on the overall health of some Hispanic/Latino people and can be barriers to HIV testing, prevention, and treatment services.

These barriers can limit uptake of HIV services in different ways, including preventing Hispanic/Latino people from being aware of and using prevention options like pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). Findings reflected in a recent Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report indicate that in 2019, only 1 in 4 Hispanic/Latino people receiving a CDC-funded HIV test were aware of PrEP, and only 1 in 5 who were eligible for PrEP referral were referred to PrEP providers. Low levels of PrEP awareness and referrals among Hispanic/Latino people suggest the need to identify barriers to PrEP services, routinize PrEP education and referrals, expand coverage for PrEP medications, and implement culturally and linguistically appropriate strategies to reach our national goal of 50% uptake among all persons who could benefit from PrEP across all groups.

Culturally and linguistically competent materials and campaigns could increase PrEP awareness and uptake among Hispanic/Latino people. CDC’s Let’s Stop HIV Together (Detengamos Juntos el VIH) campaign has a wide variety of resources developed for Hispanic/Latino audiences. Prevention resources include Spanish and English web pages for #ShesWell (#SanaYPoderosa), a PrEP initiative for women, as well as campaign resources in both English and Spanish. CDC’s Spanish campaign resources are created in Spanish or transcreated (tailored and recreated) to meet the cultural needs of Hispanic/Latino people. We encourage partners to visit the campaign website and download and share campaign materials. We also encourage you to view CDC’s fact sheets on HIV and Hispanic/Latino people and HIV and Hispanic/Latino Gay and Bisexual Men.

The Together campaign supports the national Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S. (EHE) initiative, which addresses health disparities and inequities by ensuring communities have the expertise and resources they need to close the gaps in HIV prevention and care. Some of CDC’s core strategies include:

  • Implementing HIV self-testing programs to make testing more accessible,
  • Increasing the availability of HIV prevention tools, such as PrEP, and
  • Helping people with HIV stay healthy by quickly linking them to or re-engaging them in HIV treatment and care.

Now is the time for us to accelerate progress in preventing new HIV infections and reducing the longstanding disparities and inequities that impact Hispanic/Latino communities. This NLAAD, visit our NLAAD digital toolkit and share social media content using the #StopHIVTogether, #DetengamosElVIHJuntos, and #NLAAD hashtags.

Thank you for your continued partnership and ongoing commitment to ending the HIV epidemic. Together, we can eliminate health disparities and make sure Hispanic/Latino people have continued access to high quality, holistic services that include HIV testing, prevention, and treatment.


/Demetre Daskalakis/
Demetre C. Daskalakis, MD, MPH
Division of HIV Prevention
National Center for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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