Latino Commission on AIDS Project focuses on HIV/AIDS among Hispanic immigrants in deep south

October 21, 2015

The rapid influx of Hispanic immigrants to the region has created a need for local organizations to address HIV/AIDS in "areas where infrastructure was not previously available," Frasca said. For example, the number of foreign-born residents in Mississippi has doubled since 2000, with half estimated to be Hispanic, according to the Center for Immigration Studies. Hispanic communities in the targeted states "are very different from what you will find in California, Texas or Florida," Frasca said.

Another challenge facing Southern states is a shortage of comprehensive data on the number of HIV cases among Hispanic immigrants. Any population data collected in Gulf Coast states prior to Hurricane Katrina are "completely out of date," Frasca said, adding that officials estimate that 3% of new cases in Mississippi occur among Hispanics. In North Carolina, more than 8% of new cases occur among Hispanics, which is "thought to be already substantially higher than the proportion of [Hispanics] in the state," he said (Martin, "Tell Me More," NPR, 5/7).

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