NATIONAL LATINO AIDS AWARENESS DAY | OCTOBER 15
National Latino AIDS Awareness Day on October 15th encourages prevention, testing, and open dialogue concerning HIV and AIDS.
Over 1.1 million people in the U.S. are living with HIV/AIDS, and one in seven of them aren’t aware that they have it. Throughout the year, awareness days focus on specific communities and their unique needs concerning prevention and awareness. This observance focuses on the Latino and Hispanic communities.
The NLAAD campaign works annually at building better opportunities for non-profit organizations and health departments to reach Latino/Hispanic communities. The campaign includes promoting HIV testing, providing HIV prevention information, and improving access to care.
Culture, language, and heritage may be barriers to understanding the risks and becoming more educated about the disease. The day aims to break down those barriers and bring more awareness to the Latino communities.
HIV is a virus that causes an infection. AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) develops when someone contracts HIV. Once you have developed AIDS, you have it for life. That’s why prevention and testing are vital to stopping and treating the virus.
The Centers for Disease Control recommends anyone between the age of 13 and 64 receive an HIV test as part of a routine physical. For those who are sexually active, the CDC recommends testing once per year and sometimes more frequently, depending on risk factors.
The day encourages a more open dialogue between partners as well. Improving understanding of the disease and access to testing helps reduce risk.
HOW TO OBSERVE LATINO AIDS AWARENESS DAY
- Get tested every few months, and know your partner’s HIV status. Click here to find an HIV testing location near you.
- Have sex that isn’t risky. Use a condom every time you have sex.
- Limit your number of sexual partners. If you are having sex with more than one person, get tested regularly.
- Talk to a medical professional about pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), which is an HIV/AIDS prevention option for those who do not have HIV but are at high risk of becoming infected.
- Don’t inject drugs.
- Translated materials are available. Ask for them if they aren’t offered.
- Eliminate the stigma. Open the dialogue.
Use #LatinoAIDSAwarenessDay to post on social media.
NATIONAL LATINO AIDS AWARENESS DAY HISTORY
The Latino Commission on AIDS (LCOA), the Hispanic Federation and many other organizations promotes National Latino AIDS Awareness Day