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focuses on HIV stigma in Latino communities

focuses on HIV stigma in Latino communities

The National Conference on Latinos and AIDS, held this week in Miami, is focusing heavily on breaking down HIV stigma in Latino communities, which health leaders say hampers HIV education and prevention efforts, Voice of America News reports.

"There is too much stigma [with] negative connotations around a positive diagnosis," Frank Oldham, executive director of the National Association of People With AIDS, told VOA News. "So the result is that people who may be positive or who are more than likely positive either don't want to get tested or they're afraid to access treatment and care."

The conference also focused on ways to reduce the high rates of alcohol and drug use among Latinos that health experts say are fueling unprotected sex and leading to HIV infections.

According to the CDC, Hispanics account for about 14% of the U.S. population but make up about 18% of all new HIV infections.

The conference was sponsored by Pennysylvania-based Minority Healthcare Communications. (The Advocate)

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