Commentary: A proposition against using the terms "Hispanic" and "Latino" in research on HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders

Enrique López, Guadalupe Morales, Carlos Saucedo, Lizette Aguirre-Giroń, Sara Mack, Karl Goodkin

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


In the United States, the term "Hispanic" has been used to refer to a person or groups of persons who originate from Spanish-speaking countries. However, this term fails to account for variables such as nationality, ethnicity, race, and cultural origin as well as the extent of assimilation to a new culture. In addition, factors such as the individual's generation, specific migratory status, years of education in each country, fluency, and day-to-day language usage contribute to variance in neuropsychological testing outcomes, which are sensitive to these factors. We have noted that the usage of the terms "Hispanic" and "Latino" is problematic in HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder (HAND) research; therefore, we propose grouping individuals by nationality or by the Spanish-speaking culture to which they belong. The rationale for not using these terms is based upon the sociodemographic findings among Spanish speakers infected with HIV and how these terms inadequately describe the rich heterogeneity of this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)479-484
Number of pages6
JournalEthnicity and Disease
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Acculturation
  • HAND
  • Hispanics
  • Latinos
  • Neuropsychology
  • Spanish-speaking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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