Latin@s in Louisiana

By Alberto Jacinto – Intern of Research and Evaluation

From 2000 to 2012, the Latin@ population in Louisiana rose an astounding 85.5%. A considerable proportion of this population is relatively young, with the average age being 29 years and just over a quarter of the population (28%) being under 18 years old.

Though Latin@s constitute only 4.5% of the total state population, this group has played an integral part in Louisiana’s history. Oftentimes, this contribution remains untold. Hondureñ@s, for example, began migrating to Louisiana in the early 1900s to work for the United Fruit Company. Although there were groups of “working class” people who migrated, there were also rich families who shipped their children to Louisiana in order to attend Catholic school. These early Latin@ settlers didn’t come together in Hispanic neighborhoods. Instead, they established themselves in mixed neighborhoods, which led to their assimilation with other groups.

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The State of Latinos in the Deep South: Trying to Pierce the Stigma Veil

By Miriam Y Vega @miriamyvega

Our news cycle is short, and consequently our attention spans are shorter, thus stories about Latinos in America come and go with the political winds, primarily focusing on immigration or sensationalized crimes that make the dubious discovery that are “White-Hispanics” or debating the relative merits of Hispanic-Americans singing the National Anthem at sporting events.  Occasionally, usually in the month of October (the tail-end of Hispanic Heritage Month), all three story lines intersect.

In 2015, we started January off with a news item that may not get much traction in the press about the House Republicans taking on the dismantling of hard-won “protections” for undocumented immigrants.  Many argue that “illegals” are taking jobs or are here to live off the public system.  Still others, capitalizing on fears of terrorism, actually propose that Latinos pose a security hazard. Continue reading

Who we are, how people see us?

The 4th of July weekend was a great time to disconnect from the routine, spend time with myself and hang out with good friends. What a better way than having brunch in the morning and drinks at night. For a foreign person who is living by himself in another country and away from his family, friends become family. This means they know all the good and bad in my life.

While we were having drinks, we started talking about deeper topics such as personal experiences in life. One of my friends talked about a terrible experience he had on a date where he felt emotionally attacked by a guy who had bad overall impression of him, based on personal characteristics; what were those characteristics? Living in Chelsea, being in shape and caring about fashion. Based on these three elements, the guy told him (in a funny way) that he was a “Chelsea Boy”. My friends immediately asked him what that was. The guy defined this as a shallow, cocky and promiscuous person. But that wasn’t the first time that he had to hear that from people on dates. Continue reading

State of the Science Round Up

State of teh Science Heading

April 22, 2014

We are starting a new Blog Series that will bring you state of the science and health equity findings, as well as community reactions to scientific breakthroughs.  Keep us posted of what you are reading and we will do the same!

HEARD Logo Gay Men Divided Over Use of HIV Prevention Drug

This article has gone viral across Facebook and pulls together arguments for and against using HIV treatment drugs to prevent transmission. The past few months the Commission has hosted several Town Halls where we are hearing version of this across the country. Know the debate and participate!

From the article: “It’s the Truvada conundrum: A drug hailed as a lifesaver for many people infected by HIV is at the heart of a rancorous debate among gay men, AIDS activists and health professionals over its potential for protecting uninfected men who engage in gay sex without using condoms…”

HEARD LogoCommunity-based HIV prevention can boost testing, help reduce new infections

We talk a lot around here about comprehensive prevention – meaning using a mix of different types of interventions to have a greater impact. This is a key strategy in CDC’s approach to HIV prevention and is well documented in public health field in areas such as preventing traffic fatalities (e.g. seatbelts, speed limit, driver’s license, child safety seats). This new article is provides support that comprehensive prevention (in this case community mobilization, mobile HIV counseling and testing, combined with post-test support services) leads to increased HIV testing, decreased risk behaviors, and a modest reduction in HIV infection.

From the article: “Communities in Africa and Thailand that worked together on HIV-prevention efforts saw not only a rise in HIV screening but a drop in new infections, according to a new study in the peer-reviewed journal The Lancet Global Health.”

HEARD Logo New Obamacare Patients Stock Up on Drugs, Except Birth Control
As today is the last day for open enrollment for the Health Exchanges (without penalty), what do we know at this point about who are the 7.5 million individuals hwo have indeed enrolled in the exchange? Well, based on this report by prescription provider Express Scripts, there are much higher rates of individuals in the exchanges who have accessed expensive specialty medications, such as those for HIV and multiple sclerosis, compared to those in employee covered plans.  What does this mean? Well, it could mean that people who are now getting coverage under the exchange are people who need life-saving treatment that could not get it before. Good news, right?

From the article: “The report from prescription provider Express Scripts shows many more new patients than usual filled prescriptions for drugs that fight the AIDS virus, for pain medications, for pricey specialty medications to treat chronic conditions such as multiple sclerosis or rheumatoid arthritis, for anti-seizure drugs and for antidepressants…”

HEARD Logo Multiple Disadvantaged Statuses and Health: The Role of Multiple Forms of Discrimination
Past research shows that discrimination indeed impacts a person’s health outcomes. But what is the case when someone has multiple stigmatized characteristics? This comes up a lot in our work, for instance being an immigrant, gay, and HIV+, our clients can experience discrimination on multiple levels. This relates to the first article in this post – the discrimination or judgment within the gay community around using HIV drugs to prevent transmission.  Read on to uncover recent research on how multiple levels of stigma and discrimination impact an individual’s physical and mental health.

From the abstract: The double disadvantage hypothesis predicts that adults who hold more than one disadvantaged status may experience worse health than their singly disadvantaged and privileged counterparts… The results suggest that multiply disadvantaged adults are more likely to experience major depression, poor physical health, and functional limitations than their singly disadvantaged and privileged counterparts. Further, multiple forms of discrimination partially mediate the relationship between multiple stigmatized statuses and health. Taken together, these findings suggest that multiply disadvantaged adults do face a “double disadvantage” in health, in part, because of their disproportionate exposure to discrimination.”

HEARD Logo NIH releases comprehensive new data outlining Hispanic/Latino health and habits
Are you writing a grant, report or newsletter and need some data to help paint a picture of health among Latinos? This report summarizes the study findings that assessed cardiovascular disease and risk factors for cardiovascular disease among 16,415 Hispanic/Latino adults. The finding show difference between Latino nationalities across various factors, including smoking, obesity, diabetes, health insurance, diet and exercise, to name a few.

Excerpt: “Although Hispanics represent 1 out of every 6 people in the U.S., our knowledge about Hispanic health has been limited,” said Larissa Avilés-Santa, M.D., M.P.H, a medical officer in the Division of Cardiovascular Sciences at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health, and project officer of the HCHS/SOL. “These detailed findings provide a foundation to address questions about the health of the U.S. Hispanic/Latino population and a critical understanding of risk factors that could lead to improved health in all communities.”… – from NIH Press Release

Written By: Emily Klukas
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