Groups in 130 U.S. Cities To Mark National Latino AIDS Awareness Day
In response to the impact of HIV/AIDS on Latinos in the United States and throughout the world, more than 130 U.S. cities on Friday will sponsor activities in observance of the second annual National Latino AIDS Awareness Day, according to the Hispanic Federation (Hispanic Federation Web site, 10/15). Oct. 15 -- which marks the last day of Hispanic Heritage month -- is a day set aside "to renew our commitment to ending the spread of HIV and ensuring quality of life to those with HIV regardless of their Spanish speaking country of origin or immigration status," according to the NLAAD Web site. NLAAD aims to bring Latinos together in a "united voice for awareness" and to confront the "stigma" associated with HIV/AIDS, according to the NLAAD Web site. This year's event, themed "Open Your Eyes: HIV Has No Borders," seeks to increase the dialogue on HIV/AIDS among government, religious and civic leaders and within the media and families (NLAAD Web site, 10/15). Hispanic men are more than three times as likely as non-Hispanic white men to receive an AIDS diagnosis, and Hispanic women are more than five times as likely as non-Hispanic white women to receive an AIDS diagnosis, according to the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Between 1981 and 2002, nearly 164,000 Hispanics tested positive for HIV and 87,888 died from HIV- or AIDS-related causes. NLAAD is organized by the Latino Commission on AIDS, with help from HHS and other groups. Awareness events nationwide will include information on HIV prevention and testing and will provide opportunities to volunteer with organizations that work with HIV in the Hispanic population, according to the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 10/15).
U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona is scheduled to hold a conference call for the media on Friday to mark NLAAD and highlight new efforts to promote HIV testing among Hispanics, including the launch of a Spanish language public service announcement campaign sponsored by HHS and CDC (HHS release, 10/12).