Sexually Transmitted Infections
HIV among Asian Pacific Islanders and Latinas
Asian Pacific Islanders
HIV/AIDS in the United States is taking a devastating and disproportionate toll on people of color, including Asian Pacific Islanders (APIs), yet many of us donít consider ourselves at risk. In an effort to reduce denial and shame about HIV in the API community, APIs living with HIV/AIDS and other activists are working to educate people about the facts, raise awareness about sexuality, and advocate for greater acceptance of homosexuality. In doing so, activists must combat the strong cultural influence in the API community of the Catholic Church, which discourages contraception and often turns a blind eye to the spread of HIV.
To find out more, see
Latinos, both male and female, represent 13 percent of the entire U.S. population yet they account for 19 percent of new HIV and AIDS cases each year.1 Latinas today account for one out of every five women living with AIDS in the U.S. Latinas are more likely than any other ethnic group in the U.S. to contract HIV through heterosexual sex. This is partly a result of the cultureís lingering machista attitude (many Latino men refuse to wear condoms) and partly due to the lack of empowerment women may feel in our relationships to demand that our sexual partners wear condoms. Adultery also tends to be more tolerated in Latino culture, especially within more traditional families who have recently migrated to the United States.
For more information on what Latinas can do to protect ourselves, the unique health needs of HIV positive women of color, and culturally appropriate prevention strategies, see the following:
1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, The State of The State of Latinos in HIV Prevention Community Planning, 2002.
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Last revised: March 2005
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