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National Latino AIDS Awareness Day Is a Necessary Observance

National Latino AIDS Awareness Day provides us with an opportunity to increase awareness of the devastating and disproportionate effects of AIDS on the Latino community.  Today, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus remembers everyone who has been lost to or affected by the disease and recognizes the committed individuals, communities, and national organizations who promote HIV/AIDS education, awareness, and treatment across America.

Since 2003, October 15th has been recognized as National Latino AIDS Awareness Day (NLAAD).   This observance is vital since Latinos comprise 14 percent of the U.S. population and account for nearly 19 percent of all AIDS cases in the U.S.  since the start of the epidemic.   Most recent figures show that Latinos comprise 19 percent of new AIDS cases diagnosed in a year.

We are proud that during Hispanic Heritage Month, Congresswomen Hilda L. Solis (D-Calif.) and Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.) joined with leading Latino HIV/AIDS advocates to announce the Call to Action and Mobilization to address the HIV/AIDS emergency in Latino communities.  Each year on National Latino AIDS Awareness Day, we reaffirm our commitment to promoting policies that improve the health and well-being of the Latino community and to ensuring that prevention and treatment are culturally and linguistically appropriate.

We, Rep. Joe Baca (CHC Chair) and Rep. Hilda Solis (Chair of CHC Health and the Environment Task Force), are committed to advocating for HIV/AIDS programs that are culturally competent and effective for the Latino community.  We must address the awareness and education needed in our communities and for all people — men and women, young and elderly, English-speaking and non-English speaking individuals.  This epidemic has proven that it knows no boundaries, and we must ensure that our community has the resources it needs to fight the continuing crisis of HIV/AIDS.

Tags AIDS Health HIV/AIDS HIV/AIDS in Asia HIV/AIDS in China HIV/AIDS in the United States National Latino AIDS Awareness Day Person Career Social Issues

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