Hispanic & Latinx Sexual Health Disparities

ATLANTA, GA, May 3, 2023 For folks in Atlanta seeking sexual health and harm reduction resources, StopHIV Atlanta remains a trustworthy source of knowledge and tools. Our mission is to promote harm reduction and sexual health education through access to free resources, included in this newsletter. As a part of our mission, we seek to reach disproportionately affected populations, including Black, Hispanic and Latino LGBTQ+ folks. 

As one of the fastest-growing ethnic groups in Atlanta, Hispanic and Latinx individuals need access to health resources that will allow them to thrive. However, Hispanic and Latinx peoples have often been victims of a lack of health coverage, resources, immigration concerns, and other social disadvantages that may discourage them from seeking the tools necessary to take the reins on their sexual health. 

“We are seeing increases in diagnoses of HIV among Hispanic and Latino sexual minority adolescent and young adult males in Metro Atlanta, while rates in other races and ethnicities are going down,” says Dr. Carlos Saldana from Emory University Division of Infectious Diseases “We have identified at least five networks in which HIV is spreading rapidly, and we need to act quickly in these circumstances,” he continues. 

StopHIVATL is an essential bridge between Metro Atlanta Health Departments and local community-based organizations serving in the Hispanic and Latinx communities and spread awareness of the health disparities they face as a group. At the same time, StopHIVATL wants Hispanic and/or Latinxs to utilize our resources. 

Defining a Health Disparity
Despite the growing accessibility to healthcare, knowledge, and resources, health disparities prevent folks from accessing them. Health disparities are defined as preventable, inequitable differences in specific populations’ diseases and injuries that hinder access to opportunities for better health. Traditionally, health disparities affect groups like Hispanic and Latinx folks because of historically unequal social, political, economic, and environmental resource distribution, resulting in poverty, heightened health risk behaviors, educational inequalities, and inadequate access to proper healthcare. 

Identifying Problem Areas
Hispanics and Latinxs in the United States are disproportionately affected by life-threatening illnesses, such as diabetes, chronic kidney diseases, and more. Particularly, Hispanics and Latinxs are disproportionately affected by HIV. According to the CDC, social and structural inequalities (including racism, homophobia, and poverty) influence health outcomes for HIV-positive Hispanics and Latinx health outcomes. 

Language-based disparities also affect Latinx individuals. According to data from the 2019 census, almost one-third of Hispanics living in the mainland United States are not fluent in English. 

Ways to Amend Disparities
StopHIVATL wants to use its resources to help communities disproportionately affected by a lack of health services and harm reduction resources. That is why we provide guidance on how folks can obtain low-cost or free HIV services, including testing, HIV Prevention (PrEP), and HIV Treatment.

For those preferring at-home testing options, they can obtain the Testing My Way ATL℠ free HIV/STI home testing kit by ordering a kit through the link. Additionally, you can order a free fentanyl test kit to reduce the risk of harm when using drugs. 

The support StopHIVATL provides Hispanics and Latinxs doesn’t stop at directing folks toward the resources they need. In collaboration with Emory University’s Center for AIDS Research, StopHIVATL launched a Navigator Project to connect Hispanic and Latinxs to the resources they need to thrive—regardless of health insurance or migration status. Our bilingual and bicultural navigator can guide you through your options. Additionally, those who provide feedback may be eligible to earn a 50-dollar gift card. 

 “We are thrilled to have obtained federal funding through the Emory Centers for AIDS Research to fill this important gap in Navigation services for the Hispanic/Latino community of Metro Atlanta, who often don’t even know where to start in order to get services,” says Dr. Saldana. 

About StopHIVATL: StopHIVATL is an organization based on promoting harm reduction, sexual health, sex positivity, and health engagement. They provide inclusive, zero-judgment information and resources on sexual health, drug user safety, Mpox, community events and more. The testing, prevention (PrEP), and treatment resources StopHIVATL refer to interested parties are always confidential, secure and accessible to those living in Fulton, Gwinnett, DeKalb, and Cobb Counties.

Want to learn more about StopHIVATL’s mission and services? Visit www.stophivatl.org