The annual Latino HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (October 15) was created in response to the devastating impact HIV/AIDS has on Hispanic/Latino communities across the country and to draw attention to the critical role HIV testing and prevention education plays in stemming the spread of HIV/AIDS among Hispanics/Latinos.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the rate of new HIV infections among Hispanic women is more than four times that of white women and the rate of new HIV infections among Latino men is almost three times that among white men, with gay and bisexual men particularly affected.1 In addition, CDC has estimated that 4,883 young people received a diagnosis of HIV infection or AIDS in 2004, representing about 13% of the persons given a diagnosis during that year.2
According to Hilda Crespo, Vice President for Public Policy, “ASPIRA is particularly concerned about the impact of HIV infections on young people, as they are our future. We encourage young people to get educated, protect their future health and be more proactive in communicating with their partners and community about HIV prevention.” ASPIRA has asked its Associate offices to organize HIV prevention activities with youth to influence their behaviors and bring attention to HIV/AIDS in the Latino community.
ASPIRA, along with other national organizations, has partnered with CDC to reach impacted communities through their existing communication channels and mobilization activities. The goal of this partnership, the Act Against AIDS Leadership Initiative (AAALI), is to mobilize communities and address specific issues surounding HIV in Latino communities across our nation. The effort brings together a wide range of organizations, including civic, social, civil rights and professional organizations, as well as those in government, education and media.
ASPIRA encourages all people to get tested, take action, and speak out to friends and family. Get involved and encourage friends and family to take precautions and become part of the solution.
- CDC Fact Sheet. Estimates of New HIV Infections in the United States, 2006–2009. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. August 2011. http://www.cdc.gov/nchhstp/newsroom/docs/HIV-Infections-2006-2009.pdf
- CDC Fact Sheet. HIV/AIDS among Youth. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. August 2008. http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/resources/factsheets/PDF/youth.pdf