Oct. 15 marks the call for Latino communities to defeat HIV/AIDS

October 15, 2015 is National Latino AIDS Awareness Day. The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Prevention and Health Promotion Administration’s Infectious Disease Prevention and Health Services Bureau, the Latino Commission on AIDS, the Hispanic Federation, AIDS.Gov, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are encouraging  Latinos to defeat AIDS by way of  the NLAAD theme "Tú y Yo Vamos a Derrotar al SIDA""You & I Will Defeat AIDS."

Of the 30,306 people living with HIV in Maryland, on December 31, 2013, 1,477 were Latino. The Bureau’s Center for HIV Surveillance, Epidemiology and Evaluation’s Fact Sheet covers Latinos and HIV/AIDS in Maryland. The Bureau continues to promote the prevention of HIV and joins the CDC in identifying the following actions as risk behaviors for HIV transmission: 

  • Being too intoxicated by alcohol or drugs to make wise decisions;
  • Having multiple sex partners;
  • Engaging in sex for drugs or money;
  • Sharing intravenous drug needles; and
  • Failing to use condoms consistently and correctly every time when engaging in sex of any type.

Latinos living in Maryland should talk to their health care providers about HIV, HIV prevention, and Advanced Antiretroviral Therapy (ART), which is helping people who are HIV-positive to live longer and healthier lives.

National Latino AIDS Awareness Day is a good time to share the good news – sexually active adults who do not have HIV, uninfected men who have sex with men (MSM), uninfected transgender women or couples where only one partner has HIV may now take one Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) pill daily to reduce the risk of getting HIV.​