HIV has a disproportionate impact on the Hispanic/Latinx population. In 2021, Hispanic/Latinx people represented 29% of new HIV diagnoses, despite making up only 19% of the U.S. population. The Hispanic/Latinx community faces unique cultural and societal challenges in HIV prevention, treatment, and care, including language barriers and mistrust of the health care system.
These challenges can also delay HIV testing and necessary treatment. In 2021, 23% of new HIV diagnoses among Hispanic/Latinx people were diagnosed late, meaning those individuals were diagnosed with stage 3 HIV (AIDS) within 3 months of their initial HIV diagnosis. In the same year, only an estimated 45% of Hispanic/Latinx individuals reported ever being tested for HIV. Research also suggests that undocumented Hispanic/Latinx immigrants are also more likely to be diagnosed late.
Social Determinants of Health
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PrEP use among Hispanic/Latinx Communities
PrEP, or pre-exposure prophylaxis, is when people at risk for HIV take or receive HIV medicine regularly to lower their chances of acquiring HIV. In 2022, Hispanic/Latinx people had the lowest rate of PrEP use among all races/ethnicities (115 PrEP users per 100,000 population), despite accounting for 27% of new HIV diagnoses.
Another measure of the relative need for PrEP in a population is the PrEP-to-Need Ratio (PnR), which is the ratio of the number of PrEP users to the number of people newly diagnosed with HIV. The PnR among Hispanic/Latinx people is four times lower than for white individuals, demonstrating a higher unmet need for PrEP in the Hispanic/Latinx community.
These disparities also vary by region. Depending on the region, the PrEP-to-Need Ratio among Hispanic/ Latinx individuals is 3-6 times lower than white individuals, demonstrating a higher unmet need among Hispanic/Latinx people.
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