#OneConversation At a Time - Sammy Makes Six

#OneConversation At a Time

This post is made possible by support from the We Can Stop HIV One Conversation at a Time campaign. All opinions are my own.


I am embarrassed to admit that I am a coward when it comes to HIV. As I sat here last week looking at the statistics of Latinos with HIV, I realized that this is one conversation that I completely steered clear of with my daughters. My older girls are now: 19, 20, 22 and 25, and yet we have never had this conversation. Why? If I understand myself right, I think it has to do with fear. It's one of those things that makes you think that if you don't talk about it, then maybe it won't happen. It sounds silly but I am pretty sure that's why I have avoided specifically mentioning HIV when talking to them about boys and sex. Instead when giving advice I would always say be careful, there are "diseases", but never quite managing to say the words HIV or AIDS. 

My family has been lucky enough to be cushioned from this disease because we don't know anyone who personally has it. But the fact is that HIV is not going anywhere and in order to really protect my family, we need to have this conversation. My grandchildren and my youngest are getting older, we have to be prepared to have the same conversation with them and we won't be able to do it until we have it ourselves. The best way to protect our loved ones from HIV/AIDS is to talk about it and discuss ways to prevent it. Young Hispanic/Latinos, ages 13-24, made up 20% of all new HIV infections among youth in 2010, this number is way too high and unacceptable, it's time to change it.

Image of a young man with bubble message: HIV affects more Latinos than we think - and a middle age lady with bubble message : It is important to know the facts about HIV

The fact is that Hispanics are disproportionately affected by HIV. The estimated new HIV infection rate among Hispanics/Latinos in 2010 in the United States was more than 3 times as high as that of whites. Socio economic factors such as poverty and language barriers may contribute to Hispanic/Latino HIV infection rates. 

Other HIV facts:

The stigma that surrounds HIV is also another reason why so many don't want to talk about it, but the truth is that it can happen to any one of us and that is why we must educate ourselves, our kids and our community. Our family is the first line in preventing and helping to reduce the spread of HIV infections. Let's get started One Conversation at a time. 

Get more facts about HIV and how it affects the Latino community by heading over to the CDC One Conversation page. Also stay up to date with them on Facebook and Twitter for more facts. HIV is scary, I am the first to admit it. But we can change the scary statistics simply by starting that conversation, una por una.