International AIDS Conference to Focus on Latinos, Blacks

Latinos represent 16 percent of the U.S. population yet account for 17 percent of the population living with HIV in 2008, and 20 percent of new infections in 2009.

Those are the types of statistics that trouble Latino advocates, clinicians, and health care providers, which is why on Sunday, a day before the XIX International AIDS Conference in Washington, a group of them will take part in the forum "Latino/Hispanic/HIV Community Research Forum: Creando Una Red Para Un Futuro Sin VIH/SIDA."

(Related Graphics on Statistics by groups)

"The Latino community in [Washington] is deeply impacted by HIV; this conference will help us develop a strategy that will mark the start of the end of HIV and AIDS," said Roxana Olivas, director of the D.C. Mayor's Office on Latino Affairs, in a statement. "This is an opportunity to engage local leadership and stakeholders to provide quality services to the Latino community. United, we can work together to end the HIV & AIDS epidemic in the District."

Latinos and blacks are among the ethnic groups mostly affected by the HIV/AIDS, according to Blacks face the largest burden of HIV cases in the U.S.

While blacks make up 17 percent of the U.S. population, they account for 46 percent of people living with HIV in 2008 and 44 percent of new infections in 2009, according to

Researchers have said the rate of infection among black women in six urban areas — Baltimore, Atlanta, Raleigh-Durham, N.C., Washington, Newark, N.J., and New York — were five times higher than originally believed, a National Journal reported in March. One researcher likened the rates in those cities to rates in Congo.

More than 1 million people in the U.S. currently live with HIV; one in five know they are infected. Someone in the nation is infected nearly every 10 minutes, the government reports.