World AIDS Day 2012: Latina HIV Rate Four Times Higher Than White Women

Today marks national World AIDS Day, and statistics published by the CDC confirms that the HIV rate among Latinas is four times higher than white-non-Hispanic women. One reason for the harsh statistics is that some Latinas have limited access to sex education and preventive services. Immigration status, lack of health insurance, and income are additional factors.

The executive director for The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH), Jessica González-Rojas, urges our community to get tested early and raise awareness about the disease. “Because the majority of Latinas contract HIV from having unprotected sex with a man, improved access to protection and to sexual education are both critical to reducing rates of Latina HIV infection.”

She also adds in a statement, “Far too few Latinas have access to the sex education they need to protect themselves from sexually transmitted infections. More than half of Puerto Rican and Mexican American women, for example, received no sex education from their parents, and one in four Puerto Rican and two in five Mexican American women reported no sex education in school.”

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CORRECTION: Statistics were not drawn from a study conducted by NLIRH.