Valentine’s Day is today! Let’s show our loved ones we care about them by having an open conversation about HIV and safer sex. Encouraging your loved ones to stay healthy and have open conversations about HIV and safer sex.
Why should we talk about HIV? HIV and AIDS continues to threaten the health of so many in our community. As Latinos, we are one of the groups most heavily impacted by HIV/AIDS. More than 1.2 million people are living with HIV in the United States, with 23% of new HIV infections occurring among Hispanics/Latinos. In addition, the annual number of diagnoses among Hispanic gay and bisexual men has increased 16% since 2008, and 86% of the estimated HIV diagnoses among Latinas were attributed to heterosexual contact.
All Latinos, no matter what country they are from, age or gender, without protection and without taking the proper precautions to have safer sex, can be at risk for HIV/AIDS.
Why is it that so many Latinos are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS? Part of the reason is that many of us aren’t talking about it to help stay protected against being infected. Surveys have found that only about half (56%) of Latinos talked with friends or family about HIV.
A number of challenges may contribute to why HIV or sexually transmitted diseases (STDS) aren’t discussed among Latinos, including cultural barriers, stigma, and discrimination. And even when Latinos are ready to discuss HIV, many do not have all the knowledge they need to have informed conversations with their family, friends, partners or older children.
While it may not always be easy to discuss, research has shown that talking about HIV and AIDS is associated with more knowledge about HIV prevention, more condom use, and increased HIV testing, all of which can result in fewer new HIV infections. By learning the facts about HIV and talking about ways to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and our community, we can also help increase HIV awareness, decrease stigma and eliminate the shame that is too often associated with HIV.
In honor of Valentine’s Day and promote HIV awareness, LATISM is hosting a special post Valentine’s Day Twitter chat. Join LATISM and CDC’s @TalkHIV, along with top Latino bloggers on Thursday, February 18th at 9:00 PM ET to help raise awareness, promote discussions and encourage sharing information about CDC’s national communication campaign―We Can Stop HIV One Conversation at a Time / Podemos Detener el VIH Una Conversación a la Vez. This national campaign provides resources including a dedicated campaign bilingual website and practical tools and tips to help families and friends begin or continue important conversations about HIV prevention, testing, and treatment.
We all have a role to play. We can stop HIV one conversation at a time. Together, all of our conversations can help protect the health of our community and reduce the spread of HIV.
TWITTER CHAT LOGISTICS
HASHTAGS: #OneConversation #LATISM
We are grateful to these amazing influencers who have joined us to promote HIV awareness in the Latino community:
Juan Alanis: @juanofwords
Veronica Arreola: @veronicaeye
Fernanda Chacon: @cookandmove
Brenda Cisneros: @mejoramihogar
Myrah Duque: @couponmamacita
Elayna Fernandez: @thePositiveMOM
Teresa Garza: @teresagarza
John Steven Hellman: @juanestebannyc
Lorraine Ladish: @lorrainecladish
Victor Landa: @thenewstaco
Yoly Mason: @yolymason
Maria Mejia: @MariaHivMejia
Melanie Mendez-Gonzalez: @mendezgonzales
Linda Ponder: @Ponderela
Candy Olivares: @candypo
Astrid Rivera: @latinblah
Diana Rodriguez: @comprasyhogar
Dania Santana: @lafamiliacool
Damon Roel Salinas: @HIVTruth
Eliana Tardío: @ELIANATARDIO
Romina Tibytt: @mamaxxi
George Torres: @urbanjibaro
Marisa Treviño: @latinalista
Maria Vargas Aponte: @LaChicaGamer