October 15, 2015 is National Latino AIDS Awareness Day. It marks the end of a month long celebration of Hispanic Heritage. Established in 2003, and coordinated by the Latino Commission on AIDS, this day was established to bring awareness of the incredible impact HIV/AIDS has had on the Hispanic/Latino community throughout the United States. NLAAD encourages community organizations, faith based groups and local government agencies to communicate and work together. Through communication and cooperation, NLAAD works tirelessly to raise HIV awareness by highlighting the importance of HIV prevention & education, and by promoting HIV testing events to a Hispanic/Latino community heavily impacted by the effects of HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, and other STI’s.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), HIV poses a serious threat to the health of the Hispanic/Latino community. The facts are sobering, with the CDC projecting that at some point in their lives 1 in 36 Hispanic/Latino men and 1 in 106 Hispanic/Latino women will be diagnosed with HIV. In addition, the CDC reported that Hispanic/Latinos accounted for over one-fifth or 21%, of all new HIV infections within the US in 2010. These numbers are alarming, considering that in 2010 the Hispanic/Latino community made up approximately 16% of the US population, yet the rate of new HIV infection was 3 times higher than that of the white population.
This year, NLAAD’s theme is “To end AIDS, Commit to Act/Para Acabar con el SIDA, Comprométete a Actuar.” The Long Island Association for AIDS Care is committed to providing free and confidential HIV testing, education, and outreach initiatives to every Long Island community. We especially encourage the many Long Island Hispanic/Latino communities to act now and get tested, it’s a commitment worth making. For information on events and testing initiatives we will offer in recognition of NLAAD, please visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/LIAAC.inc or call our toll free hotline at 1‐877‐TO‐LIAAC.