Access to HIV care and treatment services is seriously compromised for Latinx gay and bisexual men by stigma, homophobia, and discrimination.
If current trends continue, 1 in 5 Latinx gay and bisexual men will be diagnosed with HIV during their lifetimes.
MPact’s Fijate Bien project has begun working with national, regional and local partners to advocate for solutions to address this disparity.
Starting on the US national level, we are working with public health officials, funders, long-term and recent AIDS activists and community members to break down the structural barriers faced by Latinx gay and bisexual men which include:
- The historic underfunding and lack of resources for Latinx gay and bisexual men programs and organizations who are working to provide services Latinx gay and bisexual men often facing crisis situations.
- Raids by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and fear of changes to the Public Charge rule which frequently deter Latinx communities from accessing HIV prevention, treatment and care services due to fear of deportation and/or having negative impact on their residency and citizenship processes.
- Low uptake and retention in biomedical prevention, such as PrEP.
- Lack of targets or indicators in the National HIV/AIDS Strategy addressing the HIV Crisis among Latinx gay and bisexual men and other men who have sex with men.
- Attacks on the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid expansion and Ryan White Reauthorization. These programs allow Latinx gay and bisexual men to access to life-saving medication, to continue living meaningful lives and allow them to prevent further infections.
- Cultural/linguistic competency barriers that prevent Spanish-speaking individuals to participate in planning councils and resource allocation groups
- Limited opportunities for present and future leadership development in the movement
Beyond all these structural barriers, we need to work to connect this issue to other struggles that impact Latinx gay and bisexual men such as mental health, substance use, homelessness, lack of transportation, unemployment and engagement in survival sex.
The Fijate Bien program is working to support advocacy efforts that are designed to address the barriers to HIV prevention and treatment services for Latinx gay men in the United States.
Our plan begins by establishing partnerships between advocates in the US and advocates globally to foster multi-lateral exchange, innovation, coordination and scale-up interventions aimed at improving HIV service access. Through this, we aim to strengthen organizational and strategic capacity necessary for ensuring unobstructed HIV testing, prevention, treatment, care and support for Latinx gay and bisexual men in the United States
For more information about the Fijate Bien program or to get involved, contact Angel Fabian, Advocacy Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org