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National Latino AIDS Awareness Day

By on September 26, 2014

The last day of Hispanic Heritage Month, October 15th, has been designated as National Latino AIDS Awareness Day (NLAAD).

HIV continues to affect the health of Hispanic/Latino communities in the United States. Despite making up only 16% of the U.S. population, Hispanics/Latinos accounted for 21% of new HIV infections in 2010, a rate that is three times that of whites. Additionally, more than 220,000 Hispanics/Latinos in the United States are living with HIV.

Gay and bisexual men are more severely affected by HIV than any other group in the U.S. Among all gay and bisexual men, those who were Latino accounted for an estimated 6,700 (22%) of new HIV infections in 2010.

HIV testing is more important than ever because 1 in 5 people with HIV are unaware of their HIV status, and almost half of Hispanics/Latinos have never been tested. CDC recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 years be tested at least once in their lifetime. Gay and bisexual men and others at higher risk (e.g., people with multiple or HIV-positive partners) should be tested at least annually.

 

Here are five (5) important ways to protect yourself or a loved one on October 15, 2014 and beyond. There are many REASONS to get an HIV test.

5 Ways to Protect Yourself and/or Others

  1.  Know your HIV/STI status and be sure about your sexual partners health status
  2. Reduce the stigma of HIV by talking openly with your family and circle of friends
  3. Make a decision that reducing your sexual risk for HIV/STIs is a priority – ALL THE TIME
  4. Be a support to someone you may not know living with HIV/AIDS – Social isolation breeds depression and poor behavioral choices
  5. Be a resource person – Get training on HIV prevention, carry condoms when you party, and know where free test sites in your area

Be safe this October and every day of the year. Your health is on the line.