Houston Health Officials Join Effort to Urge Latinos to Get Tested for HIV
Houston officials on Thursday joined the "Flor de la Vida/Flower of Life" campaign, an effort to increase health awareness and HIV testing among area Latinos, the Houston Chronicle reports. Latinos represent 15% of the AIDS cases in Harris County and make up 33% of the county's population, according to Dr. Mary des Vignes-Kendrick, director of the Houston health department. AIDS advocates and health officials believe that HIV infections among Latinos may be underreported because many Latinos -- particularly undocumented immigrants -- are not accessing health care and not being tested for the virus. The Latino HIV Awareness Committee tested 85 Houston Latinos last week and found that one person tested positive for HIV, four people tested positive for hepatitis C and four others tested positive for various sexually transmitted diseases. These statistics are "alarming," Lucy Reyna, chair of the HIV Awareness Committee, said. Kendrick added that HIV infection among Latinos is a "developing problem" and must be fought through community action (Hegstrom, Houston Chronicle, 5/9).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.