Miami Herald Profiles Co-Founder of Union Positiva
The Miami Herald yesterday profiled Denise Pinkus, the co-founder of Union Positiva, a Miami-based HIV/AIDS prevention and outreach group that focuses on Hispanics, and a leading advocate for HIV/AIDS awareness among Hispanic women. More than 16% of the 17,138 Hispanic Floridians with HIV/AIDS are women. Pinkus, who tested positive for HIV in 1993 after contracting the virus from her husband, co-founded the group five years ago and remains president of its board of directors. She was also the first Hispanic woman in the Miami area to regularly speak out about the disease. "This is a woman who came out and put a face on this disease long before anyone else in our community did. Until today, we have had a hard time getting people to step forward," Luis Penelas, Union Positiva's executive director, said. Pinkus said she wants to "help other Hispanic women become assertive and move past the machismo of their culture," which often makes negotiating condom use difficult. She added that there is still a taboo about HIV/AIDS in the Hispanic community because it is a sexually transmitted disease and because many people still fear discrimination if their disease status becomes known (Elliott, Miami Herald, 6/3).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.