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New campaign seeks to eliminate HIV / AIDS stigma among Latinos

In an effort to eliminate the stigma around HIV / AIDS in the Latino community, Pinyon Foundation and Hispanic Communications Network-La Red Hispana, in collaboration with the Act Against AIDS initiative, launched today an unprecedented media campaign in Spanish, to raise awareness about a public health problem that is disproportionately impacting Hispanic communities.

This campaign includes radio and social media messages, and editorial vignettes about the importance of getting tested for HIV, and of being informed about HIV. It also brings online tools to the public on treatments and medical advancements.

“Some Hispanics may avoid seeking testing, counseling, or treatment if infected because of immigration status, stigma, or fear of discrimination. Additionally, traditional gender roles, cultural norms, homophobia, transphobia and other stigma related to substance abuse and mental health are challenging,” stated Guillermo Chacon, President of the Latino Commission on AIDS and Founder of the Hispanic Health Network.

Though Hispanics are only 17 percent of the population, they make more than 23 percent of new HIV diagnoses each year. In 2013, Hispanics had the second highest rate of new HIV diagnoses compared to other races/ethnicities.

La Red Hispana is addressing the issue by working with its media affiliates nationwide — with an audience of 11 million people — to provide accessibility to resources via radio, digital and social media, and spread the message that,”We can stop HIV, one conversation a time.”

“We are convinced that information is a powerful weapon to dispel fears of HIV. As Latinos join the conversation about HIV, it becomes more natural to talk about a topic that was taboo for the community before,” said Alison Rodden, CEO of Hispanic Communications Network- La Red Hispana.

Among the organizations joining HCN’s effort include AIDS Project East Bay, Latino Commission on AIDS, National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors, National Minorities AIDS Council, AIDS.gov and Health Initiative of the America, part of University of California at Berkeley.

Pinyon Foundation and HCN are members of the Partnering and Communicating Together to Act Against AIDS (PACT) initiative- a five-year partnership between CDC and organizations representing those affected by HIV/ AIDS.