Ramos traveled to Sacramento recently to testify at an Assembly hearing on the subject. In general, she said, health risk factors increase in severity with societal pressures -- and Latinos in the LGBT community have multiple stressors, Ramos said.
For instance, lower-income people have difficulty accessing health care. Language can be a barrier. Distance from health care facilities is a barrier. Gay patients have an additionally difficult time communicating with providers. Immigrants face discrimination. Gay Latinos face discrimination from family, from friends, from church. There is the social pressure of machismo. All of those pressures add up, Ramos said.