Press Room

October 14, 2004

Category: HIV & AIDS

HRC Marks National Latino AIDS Awareness Day

Calls for Renewed Emphasis on Prevention and Treatment for HIV/AIDS

WASHINGTON - The Human Rights Campaign today marked the second annual National Latino AIDS Awareness Day, calling for a renewed emphasis on prevention and treatment for the disease.

"Communities of color are disproportionately impacted by the ravages of HIV and today we are reminded of the need for renewed emphasis on education, preventing new infections and treating those who live with the disease," said HRC President Cheryl Jacques. "In addition to facing homophobia, many gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Latinos face racism, the lack of culturally competent care and other barriers to health care access. Thankfully local health groups, advocacy groups and national groups, such as the Latino Commission on AIDS, the Hispanic Federation and the National Minority AIDS Council, have been fighting to increase awareness about HIV/AIDS in Latino communities."

For Latinos ages 35-44, AIDS is the third leading cause of death, and Latinos account for 20 percent of all new AIDS cases reported in 2002, according to the National Minority AIDS Council.

"These statistics emphasize the need for more education, testing, treatment and resources to fight HIV/AIDS," added Jacques.

The theme of NLAAD this year is "Open Your Eyes: HIV Has No Borders/Abre Los Ojos: El VIH No Tiene Frontera." Events will include free testing services and informational workshops.

The Human Rights Campaign is the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender political organization with members throughout the country. It effectively lobbies Congress, provides campaign support and educates the public to ensure that LGBT Americans can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.