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What's New

Secretary Thompson's Press Release

This year the National Latino AID's Awareness Day slogan is:

Abre Los Ojos
El VIH No Tiene Fronteras
HIV Has No Borders

Videos  (Español)
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New PSAs
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Data provided by the Virginia Department of Health
   In English
   En español

For the following Press Releases and Media Advisories, click on the particular organization's name:

Virginia NLAAD
NAPWA's Media Advisory
BCCP Hispanic/Latino Committee and Broward HIV/AIDS Minority Network
Special Health Resources for Texas, Inc.
Virginia Department of Health
The Bay Area National Latino AIDS Awareness Day
State of Utah, Free HIV Testing Sites, October 15-16
State of Utah, Governor's Proclamation
Gandara Center's Project Care, Springfield, MA
Concilio Latino de Salud Inc., Phoeniz, AZ
Midwest Hispanic Health Coalition

[Press Release]

Concilio Latino de Salud Inc.
Noé Vargas 602-330-4300 (Spanish)
Michael Ruble 602-349-1085 (English)


Free testing offered at Valley health agency on National Latino AIDS Awareness Day

[September 2, 2004 - Phoenix] Concilio Latino de Salud Inc. (Concilio), a community-based organization providing preventive education, will offer free HIV testing on National Latino AIDS Awareness Day (NLAAD), October 15, 2004. Developed by the National Minority AIDS Council, NLAAD brings awareness, promotes prevention education, and builds leadership regarding HIV/AIDS issues in Latino communities nationwide.

This year's theme is "Abre Los Ojos: El VIH No Tiene Fronteras," which translates to "Open Your Eyes: HIV Has No Borders," is designed to help end the spread of HIV/AIDS and make the Latino community more aware of the rapid spread of the disease.

"HIV is spreading very fast among Hispanic and Latino populations. We need to get the word out and help confront the stigma associated with the disease, which prevents people from getting tested. Early detection helps ensure a better quality of life for those who have it and for those family members affected by the disease," said Noé Vargas, Program Manager for Concilio, adding, "Concilio encourage everyone to get tested."

The agency, in conjunction with Maricopa County Health Services, will offer free HIV confidential testing to everyone, and will be utilizing one of the new rapid-test methods. "It is a simple procedure with no needles involved. The great advantage is that you get your test results in half an hour," said Vargas.

Concilio will be open for testing from 10am to 5pm on October 15, at 546 E. Osborn Road, Room # 14 and 15. Maricopa County will also offer free syphilis testing at Concilio the same day from 11am to 4pm. For more information, please call Vargas or Michael Ruble at 602-285-0970.

[Media Avisory]
September 29, 2004
Patricia Canessa
Congressman Luis Gutierrez, the Chicago Department of Public Health, the Midwest Hispanic Health Coalition, and dozens of organizations present ¡Abre los Ojos! (Open Your Eyes!) - a march, forum, and health fair to commemorate National Latino AIDS Awareness Day.
Saturday, October 16, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
St. Pius Church, 1900 S. Ashland. The march will head northwest on Blue Island to 18th Street, and then west on 18th Street to Harrison Park Field Station for a forum and health fair.
Latinos in Chicago and across the country remain disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS. The rate of AIDS among Chicago Latinas is three times greater than that for white women. AIDS is the leading cause of death for Puerto Rican men (ages 45-54) and women (ages 35-44). Mexicans make up the majority of recent HIV cases among Latinos in Chicago.
Hundreds of concerned residents will join the march to raise awareness about the HIV/AIDS crisis in the Latino community. Congressman Gutierrez, other elected officials, service providers, and people living with HIV/AIDS will make remarks at St. Pius Church, in advance of the march, and as part of the post-march forum at the Harrison Park Field Station. Presentations will be made in both Spanish and English.

The Consulate General of Mexico is hosting a bi-national health fair, in conjunction with the AIDS march and forum, at the Harrison Park Field station from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. The march, forum, and health fair are free and open to the public.

Mayra Chacón and Herminio Rodriguez-Guilani
Midwest Hispanic Health Coalition
(312) 913-3001

Mike Jackson
Chicago Department of Public Health
(312) 747-9656

Mireya Hurtado
Office of Congressman Luis Gutierrez
(773) 384-1655

David Munar and Iliana Oliveros
AIDS Foundation of Chicago
(312) 922-2322

[Press Release]

Date: September 28, 2004
Contact Person:
   Valerie Gintis, Director of Prevention Services
   Gandara Center
   333 East Columbus Avenue
   Springfield, MA 01105
   413.736.8329 ext 203

Gandara Center Hosts Candlelight AIDS Vigil In Honor of 2004 National Latino AIDS Awareness Day

Springfield-- On October 14, 2004, Gandara Center's Project Care will host a candlelight AIDS vigil to raise awareness about Latinos and others living with HIV/AIDS and to remember those who have died from AIDS in Springfield. Participants of the vigil will gather at 6pm on the corners of Main Street in Springfield between Bancroft Street and Dover Street and will march together down Main Street by candlelight toward the North End Youth Center where they will hear inspirational bilingual speakers including elected officials, HIV positive community members, community activists and youth. This vigil will mark the second annual National Latino AIDS Awareness Day- a national day of awareness and prevention against HIV/AIDS in the Latino community.

Springfield ranks 4th highest in HIV/AIDS cases in Massachusetts, and 50 percent of Springfield residents living with AIDS have become infected through injection drug use (Health and Human Services, 2004). But for Latinos in Springfield, this health crisis is even more devastating. According to the Center for Disease Control, while Latinos make up 24.3 percent of AIDS cases statewide, they account for 50.3 percent of those living with HIV/AIDS in Western Massachusetts. Latinos in Springfield are being disproportionately affected by this epidemic.

In light of this health disparity, Gandara Center is organizing a public vigil to raise awareness about health issues related to HIV/AIDS as well as to educate the community about HIV prevention, intervention, and treatment services that are available in Springfield.

Luz Aponte, Gandara Center's Project Care Supervisor says: "This vigil is a way for community members to get involved and to join in the collective fight against HIV/AIDS in Springfield. It will be an event to inspire hope for the future of a world without AIDS."

Gandara Center is a community-based organization committed to improving the health of Latinos in Springfield. Gandara Center provides integrated HIV and substance abuse prevention services as well as treatment, residential and supportive services to people living with AIDS in Springfield. Gandara services include HIV case management, supportive housing and substance abuse services to reduce the risk of HIV transmission, home-delivered meals for HIV clients, referrals, and counseling to empower clients to utilize services in the community. Gandara Center strives to promote self-sufficiency among its clients, to assist people to get primary medial care, and to seek other mental health and substance abuse services related to issues that affect their lives.

For more information on the AIDS vigil, contact Valerie Gintis, Director of Gandara Center's Prevention Services at (413) 736-8329 Ext. 203.

This will be an excellent photo opportunity.

State of Utah
Governor's Proclamation

Whereas, Latinos are one of the fastest growing ethnic groups in the State of Utah, and they contribute significantly to Utah's communities through commitment to work, family, diversity and cultural richness; and

Whereas, many Latinos lack access to critical health and social service information that is culturally and linguistically appropriate; and

Whereas, Latinos make up 14% of the population of the United States and account for 20% of the living AIDS cases nationally: and

Whereas, currently Latinos make up 9% of the Utah population and yet they account for 15% of the 1,116 people living with AIDS, and 16% of the 711 people living with HIV. The State of Utah must consider the on-going growth of our population and provide prevention opportunities for those who are most in need.

Whereas, Latino AIDS Awareness Day offers an opportunity to increase access to testing and build community awareness, encourage dialogue about the risk factors associated with HIV/AIDS, commemorate those lost, and bring leaders together to fight this epidemic.

Now, Therefore, I, Olene S. Walker, Governor of the Great State of Utah, do hereby proclaim October 15th, 2004, as


Throughout the state and encourage all city, county and state agencies and residents of Utah to help raise awareness of AIDS in the Latino Community.

Olene S. Walker
State of Utah

[Press Release]

September 28, 2004


La Clinica de La Raza
3451 East 12th Street
Conference Rooms

Please RSVP to Luis Alvarado at (510) 601-7078, or e-mail:

The video produced by the local effort will be launched at the community forum.

San Francisco, CA… The Bay Area National Latino AIDS Awareness Day (BANLAAD) will bring together a coalition of community health organizations*, clients and researchers to present local strategies for addressing the issue of how HIV/AIDS affects the Latino community. The local theme, "It Affects Us All" complements the national campaign slogan "Open Your Eyes, HIV Has No Borders."

The October 14th press conference is two-fold. It kicks off a series of educational activities around the Friday, October 15th National Latino AIDS Awareness Day (NLAAD). In 2003, October 15, the last day of Hispanic Heritage Month in the U.S., was selected as National Latino AIDS Awareness Day; Latino agencies around the country sponsor diverse activities that respond to the state of AIDS among Latinos in their specific communities. The press conference also celebrates the release of BANLAAD's HIV educational video, " It Affects Us All" with testimonies by HIV infected and affected people interspersed with dramatizations, exposing myths and perceptions about AIDS among Latinos. The video also addresses basic HIV prevention education concepts such as the difference between HIV and AIDS, transmission, window (incubation) period, and HIV testing.

HIV infection has been a fact of life in most Latino communities throughout the United States for over 20 years. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the rate of new HIV infections among Latinos rose by 26% last year. Latinos comprise 14% of the U.S. population, but they account for 20% of the AIDS cases. As of December 2002, the CDC estimates that there have been 163,940 cumulative cases in the U.S., a substantial increase of 20,000 new AIDS cases in one year. (CDC 2002 Surveillance Report) In 1996, 19.6% of people diagnosed with AIDS were Latino, and that number rose to 20% in 2002.

There are numerous challenges for Latinos confronting HIV/AIDS. According to BANLAAD, regardless of their country of origin, the Latino community must come together to raise awareness and confront the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS; demand access to health care regardless of immigration status; not settle for waiting lists or exclusion for access to life saving medical care; talk frankly with each other and their families about sexuality, drug use, and the fears and stigma associated with HIV/AIDS; open the eyes of elected leaders, foundations, religious leaders, governmental agencies, media and civic leaders.

Each NLAAD locality organizing activities throughout the country 1) addresses the epidemic in their community; 2) makes the public aware of what must be done to prevent new infections; and 3) advocates for proper care for those living with HIV/AIDS. Last year, Bay Area HIV testing sites increased their testing in the weeks following NLAAD.

Following the Press Conference, the press is welcome and encouraged to attend the Health Fair that will be taking place in the same building at Centro Laboral from 11am-4pm.

*The BANLAAD Coalition is comprised of the following HIV/AIDS programs from Alameda, San Francisco, and San Mateo counties: SalvaSIDA,Inc., AGUILAS Inc.; Alameda County Health Department; Center for AIDS Prevention Studies (CAPS), University of California San Francisco; California-Mexico Health Initiative; La Clínica de la Raza; Mission Neighborhood Health Center/Clínica Esperanza; San Francisco DPH HIV Research Section; SFDPH Prevention Section; Tiburcio Vásquez Health Center; Native American Health Center/Family & Child Guidance Clinic, Proyecto Contra SIDA por Vida; Santa Clara County Health Department, and Familias Unidas.

For more information, please go to the NLAAD web site at

[HIV/AIDS Observances Webmaster Note: Check for activities in the Bay Area.]

[Press Release]

Virginia Department of Health
October 5, 2004
For More Information Contact
Wanda L. Cooper (804) 864-7963


HIV ranks as the second leading cause of death for
Latino males in the United States between the ages of 35-44.

(Richmond, Va.)-The Virginia Department of Health's Division of HIV, STD, and Pharmacy Services is encouraging HIV testing to reduce the spread of the disease in the Latino community. October 15, 2004 marks the second National Latino AIDS Awareness Day (NLAAD), created to encourage HIV testing, education and prevention in the Latino community. HIV ranks as the second leading cause of death for Latino males between the ages of 35-44. Based on 2002 U.S. census data, Hispanics represent more than 14 percent of the U.S. population but account for more than 20 percent of reported AIDS cases.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were an estimated 378,000 Latinos living in Virginia in 2003, a 105 percent increase since 1993. Of the more than 16,000 Virginians known to be living with HIV/AIDS, the case rate for Latinos is four times higher than that of whites. In Virginia, more than 48 percent of the Latino AIDS cases are among men who have sex with men (MSM), 33 percent due to injection drug use, and 14 percent attributed to sex with women.

A strong family commitment is a prominent characteristic of Latino culture; this value can create social complications for HIV-infected men. The National Latino AIDS Awareness Day Organization reports that 47 percent of the Latina HIV infections are attributed to having sex with HIV-infected men and 38 percent to the use of HIV-contaminated syringes. Among male and female Latinos (and other races), unprotected sex with an HIV-infected man is the most common method of infection.

The Center for AIDS Prevention Study (CAPS) reveals that some potential reasons for disparities in HIV/AIDS incidence rates include lack of health insurance, unequal access and quality of care, elevated risk factors, and cultural barriers to prevention, education and income. According to CAPS, sex is typically not discussed and traditional values can cause conflicts in receiving STD education and prevention information. In addition, machismo (an exaggerated sense of masculinity) may lead men to view sex as a way to prove masculinity and use as an excuse for unprotected sex. Both lead to elevated risk levels.

"It is imperative that we proactively offer health care services, free testing, and prevention to reduce health disparities in minority populations," states Casey W. Riley, Director for the Division of HIV, STD, and Pharmacy Services. Grant funding is provided to community-based organizations to offer oral HIV testing in non-traditional settings to high risk populations. The program, OraSure Testing and Intensive Outreach Service, brings testing to people who may not otherwise have access to a public health clinic.

In addition, four Minority AIDS Initiative providers in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads receive grant funding to collaboratively identify HIV-positive persons and provide outreach, HIV assessments and linkages to care. National studies have shown that earlier testing and care significantly increase the quality and length of life for those diagnosed with HIV.

The HIV/STD/Viral Hepatitis Hotline offers confidential counseling and referral services to the public toll-free and is both voice and TDD accessible. Counselors can be reached Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. at 1-800-533-4148. STD educational brochures and resources are available in both English and Spanish. In addition, resources for Spanish speaking individuals can be found by contacting the National Latino Hotline at 1-800-HFAYUDA or by accessing their web site at

For more information and a listing of local events for National Latino AIDS Awareness Day, log onto


R.M. Diaz. Latino Gay Men and HIV: Culture, Sexuality and Risk Behavior. New York: Routledge Press 1998

Special Health Resources for Texas, Inc.

For Immediate Release Contact: Ernesto Guevara
10/1/04 Tel: 903-234-8808 ext. 246

Media Advisory

What: Special Health Resources for Texas announces that October 15, 2004 will become an annual observance of the Latino AIDS Awareness Day. It is a day to hope for the future of a world without AIDS. The HIV epidemic is spreading into more segments of the Latino Community, and the health of those with AIDS is worsening. According to the Center of Disease Control, the rate of new HIV infection among Latinos rose by 26% last year. Because of stigma and fear associated with being HIV infected, the average time from testing HIV positive to being diagnosed with an AIDS defining condition for most Latinos is less than 6 months. Special Health Resources for Texas is committed to improving the wellness within our community offering free testing, education and services for people infected with HIV. Come and join us as we will be distributing free information highlighting the observance of the National Latino AIDS Awareness Day.
Where: Longview Mall (corner of McCann and Loop 281)
When: Friday, October 15, 2004, from 10:00am to 7:00pm.
Who: Ernesto Guevara, Case Manager at Special Health Resources for Texas, Inc., 903-234-8808, ext. 246.

[Email to Community Partners & Info Package]

BCPP Hispanic/Latino Committee
Broward HIV/AIDS Minority Network

Dear Community Partners:

The BCPP Hispanic/Latino Committee and the Broward HIV/AIDS Minority Network, announce the events dedicated to promote Latino AIDS Awareness in Broward. We would like to invite you to be part of this effort, along with the Florida Department of Health, Bureau of HIV/AIDS and 350 community partners nationwide. This year's theme is "Open Your Eyes, HIV Has No Borders" / Abre los Ojos, HIV No Tiene Fronteras".

Last year, the Broward committee accomplished the proclamation of October 15th as National Latino AIDS Awareness Day in Broward County, as well as the participation of elected officials, AIDS advocates, and the media with great success.

In 2004, the newly formed BCPP Hispanic/Latino committee and the Minority Network are bringing awareness to the community. Please join us at "Viva Broward!" a 3-day Latin celebration and the largest Hispanic heritage festival in Broward County. We will provide a booth -sponsored by APFL - to all community based organizations interested in participating.

National Latino AIDS Awareness Day (NLAAD) Events in Broward
Viva Broward Festival Stranahan Park, Broward Main Library - Andrews and Broward Blvd. Downtown Fort Lauderdale
   Friday, October 8th, from 5:00 to 11:00 PM
   Saturday, October 9th, from 11:00 AM to 11:00 PM
   Sunday, October 10th,from 12 Noon to 7:00 PM
Free Confidential Testing - Prevention and Care Information - Vaccine Awareness - Music

This is a great opportunity to provide outreach and promote services to the Hispanic Community. Last year we distributed more than 15,000 condoms and prevention materials. This year we expect to reach a similar amount of people and promote HIV testing.

Attached please find the NLAAD information package, including a participation form. Also included: introduction letter and list of activities. For more information please don't hesitate to call Mars McMillan at 954-537-4111 Ext 143 or Manny Rodriguez at ext 110.

Join us this October! Gracias!

Click here to get a copy of the Information Packet

National Association of People With AIDS

October 12, 2004
206-992-7285 cell

October 15 to mark second annual National Latino AIDS Awareness Day

WASHINGTON-Community organizers will address District of Columbia officials and members of the press about the impact of HIV/AIDS among Latinos during a breakfast briefing on Friday, October 15 at 9:00 a.m. at the Mayor's Office on Latino Affairs at 2000 14th St NW. The event will be hosted by several community-based organizations working at the local and national level, signals the launch of the second annual National Latino AIDS Awareness Day (NLAAD). Also scheduled are a series of HIV awareness events in various Latino communities throughout the D.C. metropolitan area the following day, Saturday, October 16. Times and places for Saturday's events will be announced at the October 15 briefing.

The purpose of NLAAD is to raise awareness about rising HIV infection rates in Latino communities. Organizations around the country observe NLAAD on October 15 by promoting and sponsoring events and activities aimed at increasing awareness about HIV disease and the impact it is having among Latinos.

NLAAD's theme this year - "Open Your Eyes: HIV Has No Borders" - stresses the need for Latinos to join together, regardless of country of origin, into one united voice to increase awareness and to confront the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS. "We must open our eyes," said Dennis De Leon, Executive Director for the Latino Commission on AIDS, the organization that initiated the national day. "Elected and appointed leadership, foundations, religious leaders, celebrities, governmental agencies, media and civic leaders must partner with us in addressing this health crisis."

"We must speak frankly to each other and to our families about sexuality, drug use, and the fear and stigma associated with HIV/AIDS," said Terje Anderson of the National Association of People with AIDS (NAPWA-US). "National Latino AIDS Awareness Day is an important event that deserves broad community support."

Also scheduled to attend the breakfast briefing are Lydia Watts, Director of the D.C. HIV/AIDS Administration, and Gustavo Velasquez, Executive Director of D.C.;s Office of Latino Affairs.

According to 2002 figures provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Latinos represented 20% of persons living with AIDS but were only 14% of the overall population. Latina women were five times more likely to have AIDS than White women. Latino teens account for 21% of the cumulative AIDS cases but account for only 15% of the national teenage population ages 13 to 19.

"Access to culturally and linguistically appropriate prevention and medical services, regardless of immigration status, is essential to address, prevent, and manage HIV/AIDS effectively among Latinos," according to Dr. Juan Romagoza, Executive Director for La Clinica del Pueblo, a Latino agency that provides medical and social services in the District of Columbia. Interview opportunities are available with briefing presenters.

[Media Advisory]

For Immediate Release
October 14 , 2004
Contact: Carlos Soles
Phone: 800-444-6472 x 234
Fax: 301 251-2160

Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax County, and the State of Virginia Observes

October 15 is National Latino AIDS Awareness Day (NLAAD). The observance marks an opportunity to spread awareness of the devastating and disproportionate effects AIDS is having in the Latino community in the United States and in the world.

This national observance day is designed to raise awareness of the threat HIV/AIDS poses to the community, encourage prevention and testing efforts, and push for support from public officials and religious leaders.

NLAAD is organized by a National Planning Committee convened by the Latino Commission on AIDS and the Hispanic Federation and other national and local Latino organizations. In 2004, Virginia partners include: AIDS/HIV Service Group, Alexandria Health Department, Arlington Health Deptarment, Catholic Charities, Council of Community Services, Faifax Health Department, Fan Free Clinic, Fight Against AIDS Tidewater AIDS Crisis Taskforce, Hispanic Committee of Virginia, INOVA Juniper Program, International Black Women's Congress, K I Services Inc., Korean Community Services Center, Mattthews Media Group, Minority Health Consortium, Northern Virginia AIDS Ministries, Office of Minority Health Resource Center, Positive Livin', Prince William Interfaith Volunteer Care Givers, SERAS, Tenants and Workers' Support Committee, , Whitman Walker Clinic of NOVA, Williamsburg AIDS Network.

These leading HIV/AIDS service organizations will hold a news conference to acknowledge the impact of HIV/AIDS in Virginia and in the US. Past and present challenges will be addressed, and solutions and action steps necessary to continue to fight this disease will be discussed. These organizations along with key members of the city council and elected officials, health officials, faith and community leaders, and individuals living with HIV/AIDS will sound the alarm that the HIV/AIDS epidemic is far from over and there is still much local work to be done in battling this disease.

Where: Tenants & Support Committee Alexandria, VA 22305. There is parking in the back of the building. Further question about the place, please contact Silvia Portillo at (703) 684-5697 x 304

When: OCTOBER 15, 2004 from 4:30pm to 6:00pm

Who: Presented by AIDS/HIV Service Group, Alexandria Health Department, Arlington Health Deptarment, Catholic Charities, Council of Community Services, Faifax Health Department, Fan Free Clinic, Fight Against AIDS Tidewater AIDS Crisis Taskforce, Hispanic Committee of Virginia, INOVA Juniper Program, International Black Women's Congress, K I Services Inc., Korean Community Services Center, Mattthews Media Group, Minority Health Consortium, Northern Virginia AIDS Ministries, Office of Minority Health Resource Center, Positive Livin', Prince William Interfaith Volunteer Care Givers, SERAS, Tenants and Workers' Support Committee, , Whitman Walker Clinic of NOVA, Williamsburg AIDS Network.

Activities: After community presentations, there will be time for question-and-answer session for the media.

For more information, or to schedule an interview, please contact: Carlos Soles (703) 585-9862

For more information, please visit


Call 1-800-444-6472 to speak to an information specialist about
National Latino AIDS Awareness Day.
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