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Latinos and HIV/AIDS: Examining Factors Related to Disparity and Identifying Opportunities for Psychosocial Intervention Research

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Abstract

Latinos maintain an AIDS case rate more than 3 times higher than whites, a greater rate of progression to AIDS, and a higher rate of HIV/AIDS-related deaths. Three broad areas are reviewed related to these disparities: (1) relevant demographic, socioeconomic, and socio-cultural factors among Latinos; (2) drug abuse and mental health problems in Latinos relevant to HIV/AIDS outcomes; and (3) opportunities for psychosocial intervention. Latinos living with HIV are a rapidly growing group, are more severely impacted by HIV than whites, and confront unique challenges in coping with HIV/AIDS. A body of research suggests that depression, substance abuse, treatment adherence, health literacy, and access to healthcare may be fruitful targets for intervention research in this population. Though limited, the current literature suggests that psychosocial interventions that target these factors could help reduce HIV/AIDS disparities between Latinos and whites and could have important public health value.

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Notes

  1. We use ‘Latino’ as a more inclusive term than ‘Hispanic’, which places an undue emphasis on the European influence of Spanish colonialism. We recognize that there is debate about this terminology and discuss this in more detail below. Also, we recognize that the term ‘non-Hispanic white’ is useful for differentiating whites that do not have a Latino background from other Latinos, who may be of any race. However, we use the term ‘white’ in this review when referring to ‘non-Hispanic whites.’

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Acknowledgement

Dr. Gonzalez's effort on this manuscript was supported by a minority supplement from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to a parent grant (R01DA018603; PI, Safren), which supported the efforts of Dr. Safren.

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Gonzalez, J.S., Hendriksen, E.S., Collins, E.M. et al. Latinos and HIV/AIDS: Examining Factors Related to Disparity and Identifying Opportunities for Psychosocial Intervention Research. AIDS Behav 13, 582–602 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10461-008-9402-4

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