Oct 14, 2022 - Health

CDC: Latinos with HIV report stigma, discrimination

Illustration of a cause ribbon with one end tangled in a knot

Illustration: Natalie Peeples/Axios

Latinos with HIV are facing stigma and discrimination due to their diagnosis, making it harder for them to receive adequate care, according to CDC data released Thursday.

Why it matters: The shame associated with disclosing HIV status or fearing doctors won't listen to their needs could lead Latinos to avoid testing or treatment — a decision that could be fatal.

The big picture: The report comes as Latino men are among the most likely to be impacted by monkeypox, a disease where similar stigma, language barriers and lack of access to care have contributed to disparities similar to those in the HIV epidemic.

Details: The CDC analyzed roughly 2,700 responses from Hispanic adults with HIV and broke down reports of stigma and health care discrimination by race, gender and limited English proficiency.

  • Women, Latinos from the Caribbean, and those who identified as American Indian or Alaska Native reported the highest levels of stigma-related concerns over their HIV status.
  • Nearly 30% of Black Latinos reported experiencing health care discrimination compared to 21% of white Latinos.
  • The differences among identities within Latino communities point to the importance of comprehensive data collection to properly address disparities, the researchers wrote.

Zoom out: The number of people newly diagnosed with HIV has dropped by 6% since 2010, but increased among Latinos by at least 14%, according to the American Journal of Public Health.

  • Of the new HIV infections in the U.S. in 2019, more than one in four were among Latinos, per CDC data.
  • As the pandemic drove an overall decline in HIV testing from 2019, it was almost halved for Latinos in non-health care settings, CDC data found.

Between the lines: Back in March, President Biden's budget proposed a total of $850 million in funding toward the goal of eradicating HIV by 2030 — almost half a century after the epidemic first began.

Yes, but: The funding has yet to be approved by Congress, along with the $4.5 million ask from the White House to address ongoing monkeypox outbreaks.

  • This has prompted HRSA’s HIV/AIDS division and the CDC to reallocate resources for people with HIV toward monkeypox prevention as a temporary solution, Demetre Daskalakis, White House national monkeypox deputy coordinator, said in a Sept. 28 media briefing.
Go deeper