Recently, I had the opportunity to share updates about Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America (EHE) during a webinar with the Latino Commission on AIDS in the lead up to the observance of National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day. Below, I’ve summarized a few of the things that we discussed.
Disproportionate Impact of HIV in Latino Community
Though not news to this audience, we briefly discussed the disproportionate impact of HIV in the Latino community.
- In 2018, Hispanics/Latinos accounted for 28% of the estimated 36,400 new HIV infections in the United States and 78% of new infections among Hispanics/Latinos were among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men.
- In 2018, the largest percentage of HIV infections among Hispanic/Latino males was among those aged 25–34 years (44%), followed by those aged 13–24 years (22%).
- However, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) use is less common among Hispanic/Latino gay and bisexual men. According to a CDC report, only 21% of HIV-negative Hispanic/Latino gay and bisexual men took PrEP compared to 31% of white gay and bisexual men.
See this recent post from CDC for more information.
Update on EHE Activities
After providing a quick overview of the EHE initiative, I shared updates on two EHE activities led by the HHS Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy of interest to the Latinx community:
- Ready, Set, PrEP: The Ready, Set, Program, a component of EHE, provides access to PrEP medications at no cost to people who qualify. During the webinar, we previewed new English and Spanish video public service announcements that will debut soon and are designed to educate and engage young Latino gay and bisexual men about PrEP. Keep an eye out for them on social media; you’ll also find them on our Ready, Set, PrEP Resources page.
- America’s HIV Epidemic Analysis Dashboard (AHEAD): Over the summer, we launched AHEAD, a data visualization tool to support jurisdictional efforts towards reaching EHE goals. AHEAD will display baseline data, targets, and progress for the six indicators, enabling all of us to monitor progress towards meeting EHE goals.
Since EHE is a whole-of-society effort, I encouraged everyone on the webinar to find ways to engage. This could include taking individual action by knowing your HIV status or helping to educate others about the importance of HIV testing, prevention, and care. Organizations and agencies can help individuals learn their HIV status and get connected to HIV prevention or treatment by engaging with new partners or taking new approaches to HIV work.
I’m grateful to the Commission for the opportunity to engage with them and their stakeholders and look forward to their collaboration and participation in EHE efforts in all 57 jurisdictions in the year ahead.
You can view a recording of the October 14 webinar online.