Last week I participated in a very important Twitter chat with U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Social Lens Research, and Latinos in Tech Innovation and Social Media (LATISM) regarding a topic that should stop being taboo to talk about: HIV.
And really, if you ask me this is the first step to stopping HIV in the Latino community. We need to start talking about it. Did you know that research indicates that talking openly about HIV can be a simple but powerful way to eliminate some of the stigma, negative stereotypes, and shame that are too often associated with HIV within some segments of our community that prevent many from talking, getting tested, disclosing their HIV status, and seeking treatment.
Although representing 17% of the total US population, Latinos account for 21% of the 1.2 million people living with HIV in the United States and 23% of people of new HIV diagnoses. That’s more than 250,000 Latinos in the United States are living with HIV. One conversation about prevention or testing can make a huge difference!
It’s time to leave la verguenza behind and bring this topic up for discussion with friends and family. If you need a little push or tips on how to get started I invite you to take a look at the Sin Vergüenza (Without Shame) Telenovela.
What I love about it is that each family member in the telenovela represents a different age group, sexual orientation, and marital status and faces unique challenges. Each person is also at risk of getting HIV.
The time is now. We all have a role to play. We can stop HIV one conversation at a time. Together, all of our conversations can help protect the health of our community and reduce the spread of HIV. Get more info here and join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #OneConversation.