National Latino AIDS Awareness Day
By Melissa Faith Ramirez on 10/14/2011 @ 07:00 PM
In the United States, the HIV/AIDS epidemic has adversely affected Hispanic/Latino communities. Hispanics/Latinos progress to AIDS faster than any other racial or ethnic group with 42% being diagnosed with AIDS within 12 months after learning of their positive HIV status compared to 34% late diagnosis among white non-Hispanic and 35% among blacks. And according to CDC 20% of new HIV infections are Latinos/Hispanics.
Every October 15th, since 2003, National Latino AIDS Awareness Day (NLAAD) is commemorated in response to the devastating impact HIV/AIDS has on Hispanic/Latino communities across the country. It was established to draw attention to the critical role HIV testing and prevention education plays in stemming the spread of HIV among Hispanics/Latinos. It is a day during Hispanic heritage month that organizations around the country use to promote and sponsor activities that respond to the state of HIV/AIDS among Hispanics/Latinos in their specific communities. Every locality will organize an activity that will address the epidemic in their communities and make the public aware of what must be done to prevent new infections. Additionally, advocating for and ensuring proper care for those who are living with HIV/AIDS is also a major component of awareness activities. Each participating locality is responsible for raising funds needed to sponsor their own activity. NLAAD is the only grassroots nationwide social marketing campaign focused on promoting HIV/AIDS as it impacts Hispanic/Latino communities in the U.S.
This year’s theme, “Latinos Unite! Let’s stay Healthy! Get Tested for HIV”/ “Latinos Unidos y Saludables! Hazte la prueba del VIH” speaks to the importance of us uniting in order to promote HIV testing to the Latino/Hispanic community and to, one day, erradícating AIDS.
For more information on National Latino AIDS Awareness Day and NLAAD events taking place in your area, please visit www.NLAAD.org .