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Oct. 15 is National Latino AIDS Awareness Day: Observance coincides with end of Hispanic Heritage Month

September 3, 2013

Originally published on Oct. 9, 2012

Through the Latino Commission on AIDS, headquartered in New York, National Latino AIDS Awareness Day began in 2003 with more than 100 sites across the U.S. and its territories. Since then, another 100 sites have been added. This year's theme is "Hispanics United to End AIDS. Get Tested for HIV."

Hispanics/Latinos face a variety of social and economic challenges that make them particularly vulnerable for HIV infection, such as poverty, low levels of health insurance coverage, discrimination and stigma.  

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2007 HIV was the fourth leading cause of death among Latinos aged 35-44 and the sixth leading cause of death among Latinos aged 25-34 in the country. In Georgia, by 2010 Hispanics/Latinos comprised 9 percent of the state's total population. In that same year, of 1,294 individuals diagnosed with HIV, this group accounted for 4 percent of cases and 6 percent of new AIDS diagnoses.

This is a call to action for all communities to work together to increase the number of people who are aware of their HIV status and to ensure early diagnosis of HIV infection and prompt linkage to care and treatment, while strengthening outreach and educational efforts within this population.  

Promoting health and protecting lives for all communities throughout Georgia is our responsibility. But we cannot do it alone!  

"The Georgia Department of Public Heath (DPH) is fortunate to have partners and collaborators around the state that provide HIV treatment and prevention services tailored specifically for Hispanics and Latinos. With the help of the communities that make up this state and with the passion of the people that make up those communities, we are making progress," said Michael Seabolt, contract monitoring team manager in the Office of HIV/AIDS.  

DPH is proud to join NLAAD Oct. 15 for this important observance and to support our local community partners and service providers in the fight against HIV/AIDS in Latinos/Hispanics.   
 
For more information, contact María González-Gelabert (mggelabert@dhr.state.ga.us) or Donato Clarke (dcclarke@dhr.state.ga.us) in the Office of HIV/AIDS.