With Latinos making up more than one quarter of new HIV diagnoses nationwide in 2017 according to the CDC, culturally competent services for the Latinx community, as well as access to such services should be part of every clinic's and community based organization's infrastructure. NLAAD aims to get more Latinx people to join the fight to end the epidemic. In 2005 the CDC reported HIV/AIDS to be the leading cause of death among Latinos. Latinx youth are one of the fastest growing ethnic groups and are considered "at risk" for contracting HIV. The Indigenous movement in the Latinx community requires providers to be culturally aware and sensitive in the care and programing that they deliver. The current socio-political climate has amplified excruciating stigma and barriers to care for our Latinx family, and it's up to us to make ends meet with adequate HIV/AIDS outreach and testing efforts, and prevention/treatment programs that meet the needs of Latinx individuals.
National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day should be observed with the most empathy and care. While the CDC states that gay and bisexual men made up 70% of new U.S. HIV diagnoses in 2017, it is important to remember the socio-political stigma that gay men in particular have endured since the epidemics onset in the early 1980's. Once called GRID (Gay Related Immune Deficency), and the "gay cancer," gay men living with HIV have experienced dehumanized and villianizing prejudices and attitudes in addttion to the opression faced by the LGBTQ2S community at large. NGMHAAD promotes HIV testing and encourages those who are positive to engage in treatment in order to improve their health and reduce the likelihood of transmitting the virus to their partners. The medical breakthrough of U=U (Undetectable = Untransmittable) and People Living with HIV (PLWH) who have undetectable viral loads through ART and are unable to transmit the virus to partners, coupled with PEP and PrEP have been game changers. On National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, we encourage you to take charge of your sexual health. Get tested, get the facts, and do your part to eradicate HIV stigma in the gay community.