A 3-City Assessment

Click image for final report.

HIV incidence (new HIV infections) declined rapidly throughout the 90s and the first decade of the 21st century due to prevention and treatment efforts, including biomedical interventions. Nonetheless, HIV incidence has plateaued or remained stable over the past years due to lack of effective HIV prevention services and HIV treatment not adequately reaching those who could benefit the most, particularly men of color who have sex with men.

HIV incidence (new HIV infections) declined rapidly throughout the 90s and the first decade of the 21st century due to prevention and treatment efforts, including biomedical interventions. Nonetheless, HIV incidence has plateaued or remained stable over the past years due to lack of effective HIV prevention services and HIV treatment not adequately reaching those who could benefit the most, particularly men of color who have sex with men.

Of the 37,515 new HIV diagnoses in the United States (U.S.) and dependent areas in 2018, Latinos represented about 26% (9,820) and Hispanic/Latino men 22.5% (8,442). The new infections among Hispanic/Latino men were overwhelmingly through male-to-male sexual contact (87.6%).

Not only are Latino gay and bisexual men and men who have sex with men (GBM/MSM) overrepresented in new infections among Hispanics, the number of new infections among Hispanics has also increased in the last few years driven by new infections among Latino GBM/MSM. New diagnoses of HIV infection attributed to male-to-male sexual contact among Hispanic/Latino men increased from 7,114 in 2014 to 7,400 in 2018.

Thanks to End the Epidemic (ETE) efforts, outcomes along the treatment cascade are being gradually achieved,10 including increased engagement and retention in HIV treatment and undetectable viral loads. With some exceptions, progress along the continuum of care is somewhat similar across racial/ethnic groups.

However, there is a lack of information on barriers and facilitators to ensure that the continuum of care indicators continue improving to achieve the 2030 End of the HIV Epidemic goals, particularly among subgroups of Latino GBM/MSM.

This study examined engagement in care and treatment adherence among Latino GBM/MSM living in three major metropolitan areas, Miami, Los Angeles, and New York City. The information gathered from this study seeks to help health care engagement and treatment efforts for subgroups of HIV positive Latino GBM/MSM most at-risk for dropping out of care, discontinuing treatment, and not achieving viral suppression.