Many barriers to HIV care remain for Latino communities in the Southern United States, according to the recently released 2011 to 2013 report from the Latinos in the Deep South program of the Latino Commission on AIDS (LCOA).

In the past two years, LCOA has expanded its scope in building HIV awareness, community support and health infrastructure to meet the health needs among the growing numbers of Latinos living in the South.

Originally based in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee, the LCOA capacity building program has recently reached out to at-risk Latinos in Texas, Florida, Kentucky and Arkansas.

The new LCOA report shows that not only do Latinos in the South still have some of the highest HIV rates, but they also remain one of the largest uninsured groups in the United States. In addition, varying coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in this region has retained many difficulties for HIV-positive Latinos to get tested and into care.

The organization hopes to continue its efforts by enrolling more local Latino leaders to promote advocacy, reduce stigma and form partnerships to increase HIV/AIDS treatment, testing and community building.

To read the report, click here.