The campaign is coordinated at the national level with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in support of the Partnering and Communicating Together (PACT) to Act Against AIDS initiative. This second phase complements the initial campaign Pinyon Foundation and HCN launched during the first half of the year to start a national conversation among Latinos of all ages about HIV/AIDS as a top health priority within our families and communities.
“During the first stage of the campaign, we opened a public space for this vital conversation among Latino stakeholders and community members. Now we are emphasizing how reducing the stigma can lead to increased HIV testing on a regular basis, which is critical to reverse disproportionately high rates of new HIV cases arising among US Latinos. By normalizing conversations about HIV, we can help to eliminate the stigma associated with the virus,” said Alison Rodden, CEO of HCN.
National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day (NLAAD) takes place on October 15th. HIV remains a serious threat to the public health of Latinos, who represent 17% of the population, but 23% of all new cases of the virus in the US. Cultural, social, language barriers, and limited access to care, may contribute to HIV infection among Hispanics/Latinos by limiting awareness about risks and opportunities for testing and care.
“We need to speak openly about HIV to protect our community. If we educate ourselves and learn ways to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and community, we can increase awareness and reduce the stigma that is often associated with HIV,” says Denise Chacón of Aids Project of the East Bay (APEB), one of the campaign’s partners.
In commemoration of NLAAD this month, there are also a number of health fairs and events across the country conducted by local organizations facilitating free HIV tests, which can be searched by zip code on the campaign’s website: LaRedHispana.org/DetengamosVIH.
Partnering organizations include League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), Latino Commission on AIDS (LCOA),National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD), National Minority AIDS Council (NMAC), John Snow, Inc (JSI), Health Initiative of the Americas of the University of California at Berkeley (HIA), ASPIRA Association, National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA) and the National Hispanic Medical Association.