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ViiV Healthcare Announces New Research Report, “Here as I Am,” on Socio-Economic Forces Affecting Access to HIV Care for Latinx Gay and Bisexual Men
Report features first-hand experiences of Latinx men to inform community-led solutions for closing gaps in HIV care
Research Triangle Park, NC – September 15, 2020 – ViiV Healthcare today announced findings from “Here as I Am: A Listening Initiative with Latinx Gay and Bisexual Men Affected by HIV,” which found that for Latinx men, including cis and transgender men, who have sex with men (MSM), navigating sexual and cultural identity amid social pressures poses significant challenges to accessing healthcare.
According to the report, Latinx communities in the US face many of the same challenges as other communities of color, including poverty, poor access to education, poor housing and unreliable or unsafe public transportation, all of which impact health outcomes for Latinx MSM. On top of this, anti-immigrant laws spread fear and insecurity that keep these men and their communities from utilizing life-saving services including healthcare. When they do attempt to access care, many experience fear, discrimination and rejection from service and clinics.
“Despite progress made to decrease HIV diagnoses in the US overall, disparities still exist - particularly for people of color,” said Marc Meachem, Head of US External Affairs, ViiV Healthcare. “Further, while we have medicines to effectively treat and manage HIV, one-in-three Latino men living with HIV are not virally suppressed. The unique experiences of the Latinx community necessitate community-driven approaches to close gaps in care in order to meet the national goal of ending the HIV epidemic by 2030.”
Data collected during a cross-country listening tour found that Latinx gay, bisexual and trans men face challenges obtaining key health and wellness resources due to compounded factors, including stigma and discrimination, language barriers, and immigration policies. The insights featured in “Here as I Am” include:
- Family and community are central to the lives and identities of Latinx men, shaping their health and wellness for better or worse.
- Interruptions in care happen for many reasons beyond Latinx men’s control.
- Anti-immigrant sentiment and anti-immigrant laws have a powerful effect on Latinx men’s health.
- Latinx men want diverse and responsive care that reflects their needs, identity and language.
- Networks and services by and for Latinx men, especially youth, can help link and keep men in care.
The findings suggest addressing the barriers to HIV care for Latinx MSM involves a holistic approach that considers their multiple identities – as sons and brothers, as gay, bisexual or trans men, as men living with HIV and as Latinx men – and focuses on expanding accessibility and availability of health services.
“The histories of Latinx communities are colorful, multifaceted and full of life and celebration. At the same time, they are complex, intersectional and influenced by many of the challenges that too often disproportionately affect communities of color,” said Guillermo Chacón, President, Latino Commission on AIDS. “We are proud to have partnered with ViiV Healthcare to provide an honest look at what it’s like to live as Latinx men who have sex with men. Together we will use insights gleaned from ‘Here as I Am’ to develop programs that make space for the Latinx community to feel seen, heard and supported through every obstacle in hopes of improving HIV outcomes.”
The “Here as I Am” report serves as the foundation for ViiV Healthcare’s Positive Action for Latinx Men program, a community-giving initiative in support of Latinx gay, bisexual, queer and trans men. The program is focused on building and elevating Latinx leadership in the HIV community, responding to the unique needs, identity and language of Latinx men, strengthening support networks, and working to combat anti-immigrant sentiments and laws. Through this initiative, ViiV Healthcare supports Latinx-led solutions, safe spaces and trusted networks for Latinx gay, bisexual, queer and trans men to mobilize communities and engage their communities in care.
“At ViiV Healthcare, we take a holistic approach to HIV that goes beyond developing new medicines. For more than a decade, we have been listening to the community to help better address barriers to care,” said Lynn Baxter, Head of North America, ViiV Healthcare. “Our Positive Action for Latinx Men initiative demonstrates our commitment to working with leaders, providers and advocates to build inclusive and responsive Latinx-led solutions, while authentically telling stories that help increase awareness and reduce stigma for the Latinx community.”
“Here as I Am” is also available online in Spanish here.
About the Study Methodology
“Here as I Am,” collates data collected during a six-month collaborative, community-based research study – Mi Vida – facilitated by the Latino Commission on AIDS (LCOA) and a 10-month Listening Initiative in eleven cities across the US and Puerto Rico. Report advisors, including: staff from local community organizations and national HIV policy and prevention experts, came together to identify target markets, recruit participants and develop an adaptive listening approach and discussion themes to better illuminate how to support Latinx men and their communities in addressing the HIV epidemic. In total, more than 760 Latinx gay, bisexual and trans men shared their experiences navigating family, society, community and policy. Once the data was collected, report advisors reconvened to help interpret the findings and then group ideas, concepts or elements into categories or themes. The report was developed in partnership with TCC Group, MPact Global Action for Gay Men’s Health and Rights, Memria, a social enterprise specializing in audio story collection, and LCOA.
About ViiV Healthcare
ViiV Healthcare is a global specialist HIV company established in November 2009 by GlaxoSmithKline (LSE: GSK) and Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) dedicated to delivering advances in treatment and care for people living with HIV and for people who are at risk of becoming infected with HIV. Shionogi joined in October 2012. The company’s aim is to take a deeper and broader interest in HIV/AIDS than any company has done before and take a new approach to deliver effective and innovative medicines for HIV treatment and prevention, as well as support communities affected by HIV.
For more information on the company, its management, portfolio, pipeline and commitment, please visit www.viivhealthcare.com.
GSK is a science-led global healthcare company with a special purpose: to help people do more, feel better, live longer. For further information please visit gsk.com/en-gb/about-us/.
Cautionary statement regarding forward-looking statements
GSK cautions investors that any forward-looking statements or projections made by GSK, including those made in this announcement, are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Such factors include, but are not limited to, those described under Item 3.D "Risk Factors" in the company's Annual Report on Form 20-F for 2019 and as set out in GSK’s Principal risks and uncertainties section of the Q2 Results and any impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.