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Positive Action for Latinx Men
ViiV Healthcare is committed to reducing stigma and improving access to care for Latinx gay, bisexual and trans men living with and affected by HIV.
Although major advancements in research and treatment have been made in the past three decades, Latinx communities continue to be disproportionately impacted by HIV. HIV, AIDS and the fear and stigma that go with them directly impact more than 195,000 Hispanic/Latino men in the U.S. and its territories, including Puerto Rico.1 While overall HIV diagnoses have decreased or plateaued in recent years, there have been trends of increasing diagnoses among Hispanic/Latino gay and bisexual men.2 One in five newly diagnosed Hispanic/Latino gay and bisexual men were diagnosed late, with HIV and AIDS concurrently.3 It is clear that the standard of care is not benefitting everyone equally.4
Since our inception more than a decade ago, ViiV Healthcare has been solely focused on HIV and AIDS as part of our mission to ensure no person at risk of or living with HIV is left behind. As part of our commitment to support communities most affected by HIV, we have collected vital research and information through our Latinx Listening Initiative to inform activities, seed funding and programming that supports Latinx gay, bisexual, queer and trans men. Our goal is to ensure that these communities receive care that reflects the diversity of their identities, challenges, desires, health settings and environments.
Responding to the urgency of the epidemic and direct community requests, ViiV Healthcare launched a series of seed grants in 2018 to provide support to the community. Positive Action for Latinx Men is a community-giving initiative that supports Latinx gay, bisexual, queer and trans men focusing on:
- Building and elevating Latinx leadership in the HIV community, locally and nationally, to strengthen unity and mobilize the community to work collectively, lessening the impact that HIV has on men’s lives;
- Responding to the unique needs, identity and language of Latinx men and working with the community to promote HIV care that is diverse and responsive;
- Strengthening supportive networks for men to share their ambitions and concerns about reaching their health and wellness goals; elevating opportunities to educate around HIV; and connecting men, families, allies and communities; and
- Working to combat anti-immigrant sentiments and laws that have a powerfully negative effect on the health of Latinx men living with and affected by HIV.
The focus of this initiative is a direct result of an extensive listening tour conducted over the past two years, where we heard from more than 750 men living with and affected by HIV in 11 communities across the US and Puerto Rico. They shared their firsthand experiences about what it means to achieve their health goals, where they go for support, and what fuels their resilience.
In addition to serving as the foundation for our Positive Action for Latinx Men program, their insights, voices and recommendations for community-based responses are featured in Here as I Am: A Listening Initiative with Latinx Gay and Bisexual Men Affected by HIV / Tal Como Soy: Una iniciativa para escuchar a hombres latinxs gay y bisexuales afectados por el VIH. This report examines how the social, political and economic forces affect the health and wellbeing of Latinx men, their ability to access preventive care and the social networks that help fuel and sustain resiliency. To better tell the story behind the statistics, we also looked at men’s daily lives, what community and resiliency means to them and what else can be learned from how they experience and overcome these forces.
Through this iterative, community-guided listening, we heard stories of how these men are building strength and resiliency and striving to create communities that support them. Listen to some of them below.
Note: Some of the audio stories shared involve traumatic experiences and may be triggering.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Diagnoses of HIV Infection in the United States and Dependent Areas. HIV Surveillance Report (updated). 2018, Vol. 31, page 102. Published May 2020. Accessed May 8, 2020
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Diagnoses of HIV Infection in the United States and Dependent Areas. HIV Surveillance Report (updated). 2018, Vol. 31, page 59. Published May 2020. Accessed May 8, 2020
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Monitoring Selected HIV Prevention and Care Objectives using Surveillance Data, United States and 6 Dependent Areas, 2018. HIV Surveillance Report (updated). 2018, Vol. 25, pages 31. Published June 2020. Accessed June 3, 2020.
- MPact. National Call to Action: Addressing the HIV crisis among Latinx gay, bisexual men and other men who have sex with men. MPact Global Action website. Published 2019. Accessed March 2, 2020.; O’Neill Institute. Bolstering Latinx Gay and Bisexual Men to Promote Health and Reduce HIV Transmission. Georgetown Law’s O’Neill Institute website. Published March 2019. Accessed March 2, 2020.