US: Promoting the PrEP pill for HIV prevention among Latinos

Latinos are disproportionately affected by HIV, making up about 21% of new infections nationally, though they represented about 17% of the population. Latinos are more likely than non-Hispanic whites and blacks to get diagnosed later in the course of their illness, raising the risks to their health and the likelihood of transmission to others.

In California, New York, Texas and elsewhere, health workers are trying to get more high-risk Latino men to use the pre-exposure prophylaxis drug, Truvada--shown to be more than 90% effective when used correctly. But health workers are encountering barriers among many Latinos.

Among them are a lack of knowledge about the drug and the stigma attached to sleeping with men or perceived promiscuity. Many Latinos also have concerns about costs and side effects. For instance, a study with gay and bisexual Latino men in Texas, finds 58% of those surveyed see themselves as good candidates for PrEP, compared to 82% of non-Hispanic whites, according to preliminary data. Read More