Newspapers Cover Local Events, AIDS Awareness Efforts on National Latino HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
Monday is the fifth annual National Latino AIDS Awareness Day, a campaign led by several advocacy organizations to encourage Hispanics to become educated about HIV/AIDS and be tested, the San Bernardino Sun reports (Wrye, San Bernardino Sun, 10/14). Each year, communities across the country organize events, such as HIV testing activities, press conferences, health fairs, cultural events, candle-light vigils, religious services and health screenings. More than 1,000 organizations in 300 cities are expected to commemorate the day (NLAAD release, 10/12). This year's theme is "Wake up! Take Control! Take the HIV test!" (Antonio Lizama, Richmond-Times Dispatch, 10/15).
According to Marcy Lopez, director of policy and advocacy for the Latino Commission on AIDS, Hispanics rank second behind blacks for AIDS diagnoses among minorities. Elsa Valdez, sociology professor of Latino studies at California State University-San Bernadino, said lower education levels, lower incomes and language barriers often hinder Hispanics from receiving an HIV test. Both Lopez and Valdez said increased prevention is the key to addressing the issue (San Bernardino Sun, 10/14).
- Rep. Solomon Ortiz (D-Texas): "Understanding -- for any disease -- is critical for people to fight and prevent the spread of a disease," Ortiz said, adding, "HIV and AIDS is an enormous challenge in Hispanic communities, precisely because people are fearful of knowing for certain they are HIV-positive, and because the testing can be expensive." He added, "HIV testing and prevention education plays a pivotal role in stemming the spread of AIDS" (Ortiz release, 10/10).
- Anthony Fauci, director of NIH's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases: "Racial and ethnic minorities continue to be disproportionately affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic," Fauci said, noting that in 2005, the adult and adolescent AIDS case rate among Hispanics was 3.5 times higher than among whites. He added, "NIAID is committed to working in partnership with the Latino community to raise awareness about HIV transmission, to promote education about HIV prevention and treatment, and encourage involvement in the research process to help in our search for new and more effective prevention and treatment interventions" (NIAID release, 10/10).
A list of headlines for events nationwide and other Hispanic HIV/AIDS news appears below.
- "Lee Hispanics To Gain AIDS Awareness: Lee Had 11th Highest Disease Rate in State" (Booth Reed, Fort Myers News-Press, 10/13).
- "Valley Marks National Latino AIDS Awareness Day" (McEver, McAllen Monitor, 10/14).
- "AIDS Tests Offered on Latino Awareness Day" (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 10/14).
- "Groups Promote HIV, AIDS Awareness for Hispanics With Family-Oriented Fair" (Ramos, Orlando Sentinel, 10/12).
- "HIV Testing Provided as Part of Latino AIDS Awareness" (Pensacola News Journal, 10/9).
- "HIV Risk Hits Hispanic Women: Health Workers Especially Concerned for Those Not Getting Tests or Treatment" (Quintero, Denver Rocky Mountain News, 10/12).