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National Latino AIDS Awareness Day 2011 Promotes AIDS Awareness & HIV Testing Nationwide

NEW YORK, NY, OCTOBER 13, 2011- Community based organizations, elected officials, community leaders, health departments, Health and Human Services Regions, health educators, advocates and people living with HIV/AIDS call on the importance of HIV testing and the urgent need to respond to the growing HIV/AIDS epidemic among Hispanic/Latino communities nationwide and in Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia.

National Latino AIDS Awareness Day (NLAAD), which is held each year in commemoration of the last day of Hispanic Heritage Month, represents a call to action for Hispanics/Latinos to protect their lives and the lives of those they love by getting tested and learning about HIV. The theme for this year, "Latinos Unite! Let's Stay Healthy. Get Tested for HIV", integrates efforts on raising HIV/AIDS awareness, pro­motion of HIV testing, prevention and education as well as other critical health issues such as Viral Hepatitis, Sexually Transmitted Infections and Tuberculosis.

NLAAD events are organized annually on October 15th in more than 200 cities and 45 states across the country and US territories. NLAAD was established in 2003 to act as a community mobilization catalyst to prevent the spread of HIV infection in Latino communities, promote HIV testing opportunities, connect people to care and hold activities that raise HIV/AIDS awareness and other health conditions impacting Latinos/Hispanics nationwide.

"HIV/AIDS continues to be alive in the Latino/Hispanic community. It's important for all of us to get tested and know our status" said Melissa Faith Ramírez, Director of National Latino AIDS Awareness Day.

The President of the Latino Commission on AIDS, Guillermo Chacón stated "Recognizing that our communities have faced persistent barriers to accessing health care and HIV services, we need to come together to reaffirm our commitment to increase HIV/AIDS awareness in all Latino/Hispanic communities. We cannot miss anybody. HIV does not discriminate."

NLAAD recognizes the Office of Minority Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, all local, regional and statewide partners for their leadership and support in implementing the mission & vision of NLAAD in 2011.

National Latino AIDS Awareness Day was created in 2003 in response to the devastating impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic on Hispanic/Latino Communities across the US and territories. This October 15th, marks the ninth annual commemoration of NLAAD, which is held each year in commemoration of the last day of Hispanic Heritage Month. NLAAD represents a call to action for Hispanics/Latinos to protect their lives and the lives of those they love by getting tested and learning about HIV.

ABOUT THE LATINO COMMISSION ON AIDS
The Latino Commission on AIDS (LCOA) is a nonprofit membership organization founded in 1990 dedicated to fighting the spread of HIV/AIDS in the Latino/Hispanic communities. The Commission is the leading national Latino AIDS organization coordinating National Latino AIDS Awareness Day and other prevention and advocacy programs in more than 40 States and Puerto Rico. For more information visit: www.latinoaids.org or www.nlaad.org. UNIDOS PODEMOS / UNITED WE CAN

Media Contact:
Melissa Faith Ramirez
(347) 255-2559
mramirez@latinoaids.org

Source: THE LATINO COMMISSION ON AIDS
http://www.latinoaids.org/news_detail.php?cat=pr&id=261


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