NPR’s “Tell Me More” Examines Hispanics and HIV/AIDS
NPR's "Tell Me More" on Monday featured a discussion about U.S. Hispanics and HIV/AIDS (Corley , "Tell Me More," NPR, 7/28). Hispanics account for about 14% of the U.S. population but represented 22% of new HIV/AIDS diagnoses in 2006, according to data reported last week by the Washington Post (Kaiser Health Disparities Report, 7/23).
Ken Dominguez, an epidemiologist at CDC, said there are a "multitude of reasons that Latinos have a greater vulnerability to HIV," including a limited access to health care, language barriers, denial about HIV, machismo and high rates of sexually transmitted infections.
Catalina Sol, director of the HIV program at Clinica del Pueblo, added that "being an immigrant really increases your risk for contracting HIV along a number of different routes," such as "[d]isorientation and the differences in culture, particularly in terms of sexual norms and what people discuss, what people do [and] where to do so." She also said that immigrants experience a sense of isolation and sometimes do not understand the health system and what services they are eligible for (Corley , "Tell Me More," NPR, 7/28).
Alex Gudino -- enrollment coordinator at the Resource Center of Dallas, which provides services to people with HIV/AIDS -- added that some Hispanics also might be afraid of having to deal with HIV/AIDS on top of the problems they already experience. He said, "Being an immigrant here in this country is not easy, and it would just add to ... their problems."
Some Hispanic women believe that they are not at risk for HIV/AIDS because they have been "loyal" to their spouses or partners for a long period of time, Dennis De Leon, president of the Latino Commission on AIDS, said. He added that the stigma around disclosing one's HIV status "is really fatal in some cases and is causing, in some places, actual increases in deaths due to HIV."
Both Gudino and De Leon are living with HIV (Corley , "Tell Me More," NPR, 7/28).