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HIV/AIDS in Childbearing Hispanic/Latinas: An Emerging Crisis

Hernández, Christina M. MS, RN

MCN: The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing: November-December 2011 - Volume 36 - Issue 6 - p 354–358
doi: 10.1097/NMC.0b013e31822d67aa

The purpose of this article is to describe possible reasons for the increase in HIV/AIDS among childbearing Hispanic/Latinas and to discuss the implications for maternal child nurses. The median age of Hispanic/Latinas is 27 years compared to 36 years for all other races combined. Hispanic/Latinas have the highest birth rate among all women in the United States; they also have a five times greater rate of HIV/AIDS infection compared to non-Hispanic White women. Most commonly, Hispanic/Latina women first discover their HIV status when they receive prenatal care. Gender and cultural roles, poverty, lack of health insurance, poor health literacy, limited English proficiency, and low educational level all contribute to this emerging crisis. Educating Hispanic/Latina women about prevention methods, early testing/counseling, and treatment options is a first step in decreasing the suffering and devastation associated with HIV/AIDS among childbearing Hispanic/Latinas and their families.

Why is there a 5 times higher rate of HIV/AIDS in childbearing Latina women?

Christina M. Hernández is a Pre-Doctoral Fellow at School of Nursing, University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She can be reached via e-mail at

The author declares no conflict of interest.

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© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.