National Latino AIDS Awareness Day

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - HealthThe HIV epidemic continues to be a serious threat to the Latino community. While Latinos represent approximately 16 percent of the U.S. population, they accounted for 20 percent of new HIV infections in 2009, the latest year for which data is available. Additionally, at some point in their lives, approximately 1 in 36 Latino men will be diagnosed with HIV, as will 1 in 106 Hispanic women. In fact, the rate of new HIV infections among Latino men is almost three times that of white men, and the rate among Latinas is more than four times that of white women.

National Latino AIDS Awareness Day
Latino communities, with assistance from federal, state and local public health agencies, have increased efforts to address the effects of the epidemic. Initiated in 2003 by the Latino Commission on AIDS and the Hispanic Federation in partnership with faith and community organizations, NLAAD raises awareness of issues concerning HIV/AIDS within the Latino population living in the United States and abroad.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all adolescents and adults be tested for HIV as a routine part of medical care – regardless of perceived risk. Yet more than a half of Latinos have never been tested. It’s critical to know your HIV status so you can take steps to protect yourself and sexual partner(s).

What Latino Individuals Can Do

  • Get tested to find out if they are HIV positive.
  • Seek early medical care if they have HIV to protect their own and their partners’ health.
  • Protect themselves and others from HIV through safer sex practices, not using or injecting drugs, and not sharing needles if they inject drugs.
  • Educate themselves and others about HIV.
  • Get involved in their communities to help prevent HIV or provide services to those in need.

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