According to the US Census Bureau, Latinos/Hispanics make up the largest (and fastest growing) minority group in the U.S. While the Latino community is a multiracial, diverse group of people from many different countries, there is cause for alarm in the growing HIV/AIDS infection rates in the Latino community. Latinas are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS in the U.S. Although Latinas represented 13% of the female population aged 13 and over in 2006, they accounted for 16% of estimated AIDS cases in that same year (National Latino AIDS Awareness Day).
Latinas face barriers to testing. Language barriers, transportation barriers, work and family obligations and miseducation about HIV may prevent Latinas from getting tested. Further, after HIV diagnosis, finding culturally competent care, disclosure, and family responsibility may create challenges in staying engaged in medical care. Due to infrequent testing, many Latinos are diagnosed with HIV at very late stages in the disease, leading to high AIDS-related mortality rates. Additionally, Latinos have the highest rate of uninsurance of any racial/ ethnic group in the country, with more than 30% lacking insurance in 2010 (Ryan White Population Fact Sheet, 2014).
According to the Latino Commission on AIDS, by the end of 2011 an estimated 122,848 Hispanics/Latinos who had ever been diagnosed with AIDS had died in the United States. In 2012, HIV was the seventh leading cause of death among Hispanics/Latinos aged 25-34 in the United States and the ninth leading cause of death among Hispanics/Latinos aged 35-54.