This Saturday, October 15, marks the eighth annual National Latino AIDS Awareness Day (NLAAD). NLAAD was established to “draw attention to the critical role HIV testing and prevention education plays in stemming the spread of HIV/AIDS among Hispanics/Latinos.” The day, always commemorated during Hispanic heritage month, is used by national and local organizations to promote and sponsor activities that respond to the state of HIV/AIDS among Hispanics/Latinos in their communities.
According to the most recent statistics, 31% of all persons living with HIV in California are Latino/Hispanic. In Orange County, however, that rate is a much higher 39.9%. Similarly, 42.3% of all newly diagnosed cases in 2009 and 2010 were Latino/Hispanic in Orange County versus just under 40% for the state. Because of this higher than average incidence of HIV among the Latino population in Orange County, ASF has placed an emphasis on outreach and education in the Latino community.
ASF’s Latino Outreach programs raise awareness of HIV/AIDS in the Latino community through testing and prevention education. Programs are coordinated in multiple and diverse locations such as the Mexican Consulate, Cal State Fullerton health fairs, seminars for Latino women who are the victims of domestic violence, local Catholic church health fairs and NLAAD. ASF health educators will participate in just under 70 of these formal Latino-centered fairs annually in addition to their engagements with the community at large.
As it has since 2004, in observance of NLAAD and in collaboration with the Mexican Consulate, ASF will present a Latino Community Health Fair on Saturday, October 15, from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM at 828 N. Broadway in Santa Ana. The main focus of the health fair will be HIV testing, education, and prevention. In addition to HIV, a variety of other free health screenings will be offered such as glucose, cholesterol, vision, hearing and more. These offering coordinate perfectly with this year’s NLAAD theme…”Latinos Unite! Let’s Stay Healthy! Get Tested for HIV!”
The message for the Latino community is the same for every community…
Know your status. Get tested today!