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Alarming Statistics on AIDS Among Latinos

There is a disproportionate number of Latinos infected with AIDS and major misconceptions about the disease among Latinos. These conditions are also prevalent in the African-American population as the high poverty levels in both groups limit their access to information and care.

The U.S. government's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports:

Latinos represented 13 percent of the population in the year 2000, but accounted for 19 percent of the AIDS cases reported that year.

AIDS is the fourth-leading cause of death for Latinos between the ages of 25 and 44 as compared to the fifth-leading cause of death in this age group for non-Hispanic whites.

A national AIDS survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation released in 2001 found:

Forty-nine percent (49%) of the Latino respondents said that religious leaders and institutions are not doing enough about HIV/AIDS, and 34 percent said that they are doing enough.

The Kaiser survey found a high level of misconception among Latinos about the risk of infection through casual contact.

Those ages 30 and older are significantly more likely to think that kissing (52 percent), touching a toilet seat (34 percent) and sharing a drinking glass (30 percent) pose a risk of infection.

Thirty eight percent (38%) of Latino respondents say they know someone with AIDS, or know someone who has died of AIDS.

Eighty-three percent (83%) report that access to care and treatment is a problem.

Seventy-three percent (73%) report that access is affected by income, 64 percent cited race and 49 percent listed gender.