Since 2008, overall rates of HIV have decreased among Latino and Hispanic individuals; however, among Hispanic and Latino men who have sex with men, new HIV diagnoses have severely increased, according to recently published data.
“Overall diagnoses of HIV infection among adult and adolescent Hispanics or Latinos decreased in the United States. However, decreases have not occurred uniformly because diagnoses of HIV infection among men who have sex with men increased. This increase might have resulted from increased incidence of HIV infection, an increase in HIV testing among Hispanic or Latino men who have sex with men, or a combination of both of these factors,” the researchers wrote.
Researchers analyzed data from the National HIV Surveillance System from 2008-2013 to assess trends in new HIV diagnoses among Hispanic and Latino populations.
From 2008 to 2013, there were 57,406 HIV diagnoses among Hispanic or Latino individuals. The rate of HIV diagnoses was six times higher among men compared with women in 2013 (41.3 vs. 6.8 per 100,000).
Among men and women, the greatest decreases were seen in HIV diagnoses due to injection drug use.
Among the Hispanic and Latino adult and adolescent population, HIV diagnoses decreased from 28.3 diagnoses per 100,000 in 2008 to 24.3 diagnoses per 100,000 in 2013, according to the researchers.
HIV infections attributed to male-to-male sexual contact increased by 16% among Latino and Hispanic men.
The researchers noted that disparities in HIV diagnoses was seen in individuals depending on their place of birth. HIV attributed to injection drug use was significantly higher among Latino and Hispanic men born in Puerto Rico compared with those born elsewhere. Rates of HIV attributed to injection drug was greater among Latino or Hispanic women born in Puerto Rico or the United States compared with those born elsewhere.
“The higher rate of HIV infection among Hispanics or Latinos indicates that much work still needs to be done to reach Hispanics or Latinos at high risk for acquiring or transmitting HIV infection. Targeted strategies for Hispanic or Latino subpopulations, such as men who have sex with men and persons who inject drugs, present prevention challenges and warrant expanded efforts,” the researchers concluded. – by Casey Hower