Around ASF Blog
Volume 1 / Entry 23
September 6, 2012
The annual National Latino AIDS Awareness Day (NLAAD) is Saturday, October 13. As it has done for many years, ASF will celebrate NLAAD with the presentation of a health fair aimed at the Latino population of Orange County.
The fair will be presented in conjunction with Binational Health Week and the Consulate of Mexico. It takes place in the consulate parking lot at 828 N. Broadway, Santa Ana, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The fair is focused on Latinos but all are welcome.
This day and ASF’s involvement in this particular community are at the heart of the agency’s new focus on creating an AIDS-free generation in Orange County through testing and education of at-risk populations.
The most recent statistics from the Orange County Health Care Agency for the last two years show that 46.1% of new HIV infections in Orange County over that time period occurred in the Latino population. It is obvious that if we are to stop the spread of new HIV infections and reach our goal of an AIDS-free generation, this startling statistic must be addressed. The answer is the reduction of the stigma of HIV in this population. The only way to reduce that stigma is to be out in public talking about it and testing for it.
ASF already offers free HIV testing, counseling and education at the Consulate of Mexico twice a month. This is a great start in getting Hispanics used to HIV and AIDS and lessening the stigma and mystery around the virus and the disease. NLAAD offers ASF another chance to reach this community that is so in need of prevention education.
At the health fair, ASF will be offering free HIV testing to anyone interested. Testing is done with a simple swab of the cheek inside the mouth and results are ready within about twenty minutes. Regardless of the result, positive or negative, prevention education and counseling is included in the testing procedure. Most individuals who seek testing feel they have put themselves at risk in some way. The counseling and prevention education seeks to provide deterrents to future risky behavior and offer solutions that will reduce the risk significantly.
In addition to the HIV testing provided by ASF, the health fair will also feature blood pressure, dental, and glucose screenings…free of charge. For more information about ASF’s health education and prevention programs, please click here.
For more information on Orange County’s NLAAD Health Fair, please contact Martin Salas, ASF’s director of health education and prevention, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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