Today is National Latino AIDS Awareness Day and this year’s theme is “Comprométete a Hablar”, or “Commit to Speak”.

The HIV epidemic continues to have significant impacts on the lives of people across thenlaad-logo United States, including thousands of Bostonians. However, the Latino community has been hit particularly hard. In 2011 (the most recent data available), Hispanics/Latinos accounted for approximately 20% of the new HIV infections in the United States. In Boston, 18% of people living with HIV in 2011 were Latino. We must also remember the significant burden HIV has placed on men who have sex with men (MSM), including those who may or may not identify as gay or bisexual. In 2011, approximately 58% of new HIV infections among Latinos in the United States were MSM.

Consider taking time out of your day to talk to a loved one about the importance of preventing HIV. Commit to speaking about HIV and encourage those around you to follow the tips below. If you might be at risk for HIV, ask your doctor about an HIV test.

Everyone can help prevent the spread of HIV:

    • If you have sex, use a condom or dental dam every time.
    • Get tested for HIV.
    • Click here to learn why testing for other Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STIs) can help prevent the spread HIV.
    • Limit your number of sex partners.
    • Talk with your partner(s) about their status and getting tested. Click here for tips on talking about HIV testing.
    • Do not share needles or other equipment if you inject drugs.
    • Remember: drugs or alcohol may cause you to forget to use a condom if you have sex and put you at risk for HIV or other STIs.

Click Here to find an HIV testing site near you or text your zip code to 566948 (a service from the CDC, message and data rates may apply).  Your doctor can also test you for HIV and other STIs. If you need help finding a doctor or getting health insurance, call the Mayor’s Health Line at (617) 534-5050.

To learn more about HIV/AIDS, check out our HIV/AIDS fact sheet in English or Spanish