Miami Herald Profiles Florida AIDS Outreach Program Aimed at Latino Community
The Miami Herald on Thursday profiled the Wynwood, Fla.-based Borinquen Health Care Clinic, which operates an "aggressive" HIV/AIDS outreach campaign targeting the Latino community. AIDS is the fourth leading cause of death among Hispanics between the ages of 25 and 44, and although Hispanics represent 14% of the U.S. population, they represent 18% of the total number of AIDS cases reported since 1981 and 19% of the cases reported in 2001. The Borinquen outreach campaign is the "brainchild" of regional and local AIDS groups, which hope to attract the attention of individuals who influence government AIDS policy and encourage them to recognize the growing problem of HIV/AIDS among Hispanics, according to Alberto Santana, HIV prevention program manager at the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors. Convincing Hispanics in their community to embrace their prevention message: "abre los ojos" -- or "open your eyes" -- has been a difficult task, local AIDS advocates say, adding that sex and drug use are still taboo subjects among many in the Hispanic community. Some Latino men avoid HIV testing because of a fear that it may "raise questions about their masculinity or their sexual orientation," according to the Herald. In immigrant communities, some Latinos avoid testing for fear that a positive diagnosis could result in deportation, the Herald reports. In addition, there are few HIV/AIDS prevention and education brochures written in Spanish, according to area AIDS advocates (Robinson, Miami Herald, 10/30).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.