LOCALIZE IT: HIV cases are on the rise in young gay Latinos, especially in the Southeast

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — EDITORS/NEWS DIRECTORS:

While estimated new HIV infection rates declined 23% in the United States from 2012 to 2022, a KFF Health News-Associated Press analysis found the rate has not fallen for Latinos as much as it has for other racial and ethnic groups.

The analysis found Latinos are experiencing a disproportionate number of new infections and diagnoses across the U.S., with diagnosis rates highest in the Southeast.

African Americans continue to have the highest HIV rates in the U.S. overall, but Latinos made up the largest share of new HIV diagnoses and infections among gay and bisexual men in 2022, per the most recent data available. Latinos are about 19% of the U.S. population but accounted for about 33% of new HIV infections, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The federal government launched a campaign in 2019 to end the HIV epidemic, and has funneled millions of dollars annually to certain areas with the highest infection rates. But there’s no clear mandate for that money to be spent on a particular group, leaving it up to the cities, counties, and states to come up with targeted strategies.

Public health experts and advocates say what’s needed is a better way to address systemic, cultural and economic inequities that Latinos face, and that includes more money.

Here are some ways to report on HIV rates among Latinos and the potential gaps in health care in your areas.

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READ AP'S STORY

Young gay Latinos see a rising share of new HIV cases, leading to a call for targeted funding

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STATES AND COUNTIES RECEIVING ADDITIONAL EXTRA FUNDING

A federal initiative called Ending the HIV Epidemic, which launched in 2019, has doled out more than $2.2 billion. The extra money goes to 57 jurisdictions with the highest rates of new HIV diagnoses. For a full explainer on the initiative, its goals and its targeted areas, go here.

Here’s a quick glance at areas that are part of the initiative:

STATES

Alabama

Arkansas

Kentucky

Mississippi

Missouri

Oklahoma

South Carolina

— — —

TERRITORIES

Puerto Rico

— — —

COUNTIES

– Arizona (1): Maricopa

– California (8): Alameda, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco

– Florida (7): Broward, Duval, Hillsborough, Miami-Dade, Orange, Palm Beach, Pinellas

– Georgia (4): Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton, Gwinnett

– Illinois (1): Cook

– Indiana (1): Marion

– Louisiana (2 parishes): East Baton Rouge, Orleans

– Maryland (3): Baltimore City, Montgomery, Prince George’s

– Massachusetts (1): Suffolk

– Michigan (1): Wayne

– Nevada (1): Clark

– New Jersey (2): Essex, Hudson

– New York (4): Bronx, Kings, New York, Queens

– North Carolina (1): Mecklenburg

– Ohio (3): Cuyahoga, Franklin, Hamilton

– Pennsylvania (1): Philadelphia

– Tennessee (1): Shelby

– Texas (5): Bexar, Dallas, Harris, Tarrant, Travis

– Washington (1): King

– Washington, D.C.

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FIND YOUR STATE'S HIV RATES

Use the CDC’s AtlasPlus data query system to explore HIV diagnoses, prevalence and other indicators in your community; the most recent data available is from 2022.

For example, to figure out how many cases of HIV were diagnosed in the Memphis metro area in 2022, check the “HIV diagnoses” box in the indicator section (hit the “Next” button in the lower right corner after completing each section), select “Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA)” box in the geography section, and check “Memphis-TN-MS-AR” in the drop down menu. Finally, check “2022” under the year section. To see cases among all demographic groups, leave the preselected options for “Age Group,” “Sex" and “Transmission” categories and click “Select specific races/ethnicities” under the “Race/Ethnicity” category. Hit “Create my Table.” You will see that there 397 diagnosed cases in the Memphis area in 2022.

The CDC’s analysis from May showed HIV incidence rates among gay and bisexual white and Black men declined from 2018 to 2022, while rates among gay and bisexual Latino men were stable.

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HOW MUCH MONEY IS GOING TO HIV PREVENTION AND TREATMENT?

The U.S. spends tens of billions a year on HIV treatment, prevention, cash and housing assistance, global efforts and research. But it’s not an easy web to untangle.

KFF policy experts have created guides to federal funding for overall HIV federal funding and the Ryan White program, which is a federal safety-net plan that serves over half of those in the country diagnosed with HIV.

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WHAT ABOUT STATE AND LOCAL FUNDING?

It can be tricky to get a full assessment of state and local funding beyond what the federal government provides, and public records requests might be necessary. Start by reaching out to health departments – either the director or the person in charge of HIV or infectious diseases divisions – to find out if they can provide general and/or itemized lists for:

— How much federal money they receive and disburse for HIV prevention, testing and treatment; this might involve grants beyond the Ending the HIV Epidemic and Ryan White funding.

— How much state and local money they receive and disburse for HIV prevention, testing and treatment.

— Which HIV-related nonprofits get state or local money, and whether any of those focus on the Latino community or other communities of color.

Also consider asking:

— Has HIV-related funding increased or decreased recently?

— Are certain communities getting more funding than others based on HIV rates?

— Which regional or local authorities are in charge of doling out money and assessing whether its being spent effectively?

You can also check state budgets, current or past, or upcoming state appropriations bills for more detailed breakdowns.

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KEY QUESTIONS FOR LOCAL HEALTH DEPARTMENTS AND NONPROFITS

— Has the Latino population grown in your region, and can the health department point to that having an effect on HIV rates?

— Does the county or state have a plan to bring HIV rates down and does it specifically mention Latinos?

— What measures are local government authorities and nonprofits taking to prevent HIV rates from increasing? Are health departments prioritizing testing? Does more money go to prevention or treatment?

— Have there been any outbreaks or clusters of HIV recently? If so, what communities have been affected?

— Do HIV outreach strategies in your city or county take into account all racial and ethnic populations? Are they provided in more than one language or by people who are from that community? Is the Latino community seeing effective communications for prevention and treatment?

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WHO ELSE TO TALK TO LOCALLY

— Speak with local and state-level epidemiologists about trends in HIV infections and diagnoses in your area.

— Local and state HIV testing and treatment organizations can shed light on gaps in HIV treatment and prevention.

— Read your state and county health plans to see if HIV prevention and treatment are listed as priorities. To find these plans, check meeting minutes, state and local health department websites and submit records requests.

— Talk to people who are living with HIV to understand the strengths and weaknesses in HIV care in the area. Organizations that serve particular communities of color or LGBTQ+ communities may be able to connect you to people with HIV.

— Reach out to health clinics or organizations that receive Ryan White funding to learn about their biggest challenges treating people with HIV.

— Policy organizations can help make sense of your state or county budget and help you get up-to-date on local anti-LGBTQ legislation that may make people feel unsafe seeking treatment or getting tested.

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EMBED THESE GRAPHICS

To embed a map of which states are seeing high rates of HIV diagnoses among Latinos, available in English or Spanish, insert this code into your CMS:

!-- start AP embed --

Responsive iframe (English)

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iframe (English)

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Responsive iframe (Spanish)

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iframe (Spanish)

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!-- end AP embed --

To embed a chart showing the rise of diagnoses in Latino men who have sex with men, available in English or Spanish, insert this code into your CMS:

!-- start AP embed --

Responsive iframe (English) iframe title=“New HIV Cases Rising Among Young Gay Latino Men ” aria-label=“Interactive line chart” id=“datawrapper-chart-W8NCf” src=” https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/W8NCf/17/ ″ scrolling=“no” frameborder=“0″ style=“width: 0; min-width: 100% !important; border: none;” height=“557″ data-external=“1”/iframescript type=“text/javascript”!function()(“use strict”;window.addEventListener(“message”,(function(a)(if(void 0!==a.data(“datawrapper-height”))(var e=document.querySelectorAll(“iframe”);for(var t in a.data(“datawrapper-height”))for(var r=0;re.length;r++)if(e(r).contentWindow===a.source)(var i=a.data(“datawrapper-height”)(t)+“px”;e(r).style.height=i))))))();/script

iframe (English)

iframe title=“New HIV Cases Rising Among Young Gay Latino Men ” aria-label=“Interactive line chart” id=“datawrapper-chart-W8NCf” src=” https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/W8NCf/17/ ″ scrolling=“no” frameborder=“0″ style=“border: none;” width=“600″ height=“557” data-external=“1″/iframe

Responsive iframe (Spanish):

iframe title=“Aumentan los nuevos casos de VIH en jóvenes latinos que tienen sexo con hombres” aria-label=“Interactive line chart” id=“datawrapper-chart-jnCrj” src=“https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/jnCrj/1/” scrolling=“no” frameborder=“0″ style=“width: 0; min-width: 100% !important; border: none;” height=“602″ data-external=“1”/iframescript type=“text/javascript”!function()(“use strict”;window.addEventListener(“message”,(function(a)(if(void 0!==a.data(“datawrapper-height”))(var e=document.querySelectorAll(“iframe”);for(var t in a.data(“datawrapper-height”))for(var r=0;re.length;r++)if(e(r).contentWindow===a.source)(var i=a.data(“datawrapper-height”)(t)+“px”;e(r).style.height=i))))))();/script

iframe (Spanish)

iframe title=“Aumentan los nuevos casos de VIH en jóvenes latinos que tienen sexo con hombres” aria-label=“Interactive line chart” id=“datawrapper-chart-jnCrj” src=“https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/jnCrj/1/” scrolling=“no” frameborder=“0″ style=“border: none;” width=“600″ height=“602” data-external=“1″/iframe

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The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The AP is responsible for all content. This article also was produced by KFF Health News, a national newsroom that produces in-depth journalism about health issues and is one of the core operating programs at KFF — the independent source for health policy research, polling, and journalism. KFF Health News is the publisher of California Healthline, an editorially independent service of the California Health Care Foundation.

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Localize It is an occasional feature produced by The Associated Press for its customers’ use. Questions can be directed to Katie Oyan at koyan@ap.org.

Vanessa G. Sanchez And Phillip Reese/kff Health News And Devna Bose/associated Press, The Associated Press