say an HIV crisis is under way in the Hispanic community,
where social stigma, poverty, language barriers, and fear of
deportation deter testing and increase the infection
rate, the Detroit Free Press reported.
Hispanics have the second highest HIV infection rate, only
after African-Americans. The state health department
estimates that there are at least 600 Hispanics
infected statewide. In Wayne County alone, at least
154 Hispanics have HIV, mainly in southwest Detroit.
According to U.S.
Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention statistics, although Hispanics make up about
12% of the U.S. population, they account for 17% of
HIV cases. The CDC said that Hispanics are also more
likely to develop AIDS within a year of their HIV
diagnosis because they are more likely to delay treatment,
so they die sooner--within 18 months of
diagnosis, the Free Press reported.
Edgardo Nieves of
AIDS Partnership Michigan in Detroit said a large
portion of the Hispanic population speaks only Spanish,
while many HIV/AIDS TV public-service announcements
and printed prevention materials are in English,
creating more problems for the community in terms of
of Detroit's Latino Family Services said her group is
targeting beauty shops with information on testing and
prevention. She said more Hispanics are now aware of
and acknowledge risky sexual behavior, the Detroit
Free Press reported.
Louis Martinez opened his Christ to the Nations Church to
the organization Gospel Against AIDS last month. It was the
first time GAA founder Rosalind Worthy directed her
HIV/AIDS prevention message to Hispanics. The GAA
holds information sessions in African-American
churches, state correctional facilities, and other
organizations throughout Michigan. (The