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National Latino AIDS Awareness Day (NLAAD) in Chicago
From a press release
2013-10-04

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Join Center on Halsted in celebrating National Latino AIDS Awareness Day ( NLAAD ) on Thursday, Oct. 17th from 3:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. for a national community mobilization and social marketing campaign to unite the Hispanic/Latino community to raise awareness of HIV, promote HIV testing, prevention and education, in addition to other critical health issues. Center on Halsted will be offering free, rapid HIV testing from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. for individuals on a walk-in basis. Register to attend at community.centeronhalsted.org/nlaad

Center on Halsted is partnering with health officials, community service providers, civil-rights organizations, faith-based organizations, and researchers to observe NLAAD and take part in community-centered activities. NLAAD is one of a series of National HIV/AIDS Awareness Days occurring throughout the year that focus on various communities. The goal of these observances is to promote HIV/AIDS awareness and to ensure that community members get tested for HIV. This year's NLAAD theme is "Commit to Speak"/"Comprométete a Hablar."

As part of this year's community-centered activities, Center on Halsted will host a community conversation among key stakeholders with our keynote speaker, Dr. Bechara Choucair, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, to discuss the importance of HIV testing and awareness within the Hispanic/Latino LGBTQ community in Chicago's north side and the impact of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy ( NHAS ) and Healthy Chicago documents in community HIV prevention efforts. Then, community agencies will have an opportunity to market, share best practices and information on their services and programs at the Resource Fair, which is open to Hispanic/Latino-serving organizations and those looking to work more closely within the Hispanic/Latino community. Following the resource fair will be an evening reception for community stakeholders and partners to observe NLAAD with performances and displays from local artists.

Centers of Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC ) figures remind us why HIV/AIDS Awareness Days are an important community effort to address the epidemic. In 2009, Latinos accounted for 20% of new HIV infections in the United States while representing approximately 16% of the total US population. As CDC states, Latinos are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS. ( www.cdc.gov/hiv/risk/racialethnic/hispaniclatinos/facts/index.html ). In Chicago, the Latino population accounts for 17% of the city's reported cases of HIV, which is similar to the national trend. Locally, one statistic that stands out is the number of HIV-positive men who have sex with men ( MSM ) who were not aware of their HIV infection. For Latino MSM, 21% of those HIV-infected were not aware of their infection in 2011 ( www.cityofchicago.org/content/dam/city/depts/cdph/infectious_disease/STI_HIV_AIDS/MSMReport2012.pdf ).

This year, we are happy to announce that the following organizations will be participating in the observance of NLAAD at Center on Halsted. This includes Access Community Health Network ( ACCESS ); aChurch4Me Metropolitan Community Church ( MCC ); the Association of Latino Men in Action ( ALMA ); CALOR; Chicago Department of Public Health ( CDPH ); Circuit Night Club; Lambda Legal; National Museum of Mexican Art; Project PrEPare; Project Vida; Queer Tango; Ruth M. Rothstein CORE Center; Test Positive Aware Network ( TPAN ), United Latino Pride; and Vida/SIDA.

Center on Halsted invites participants to join Centro de tu Noche ( Center of your Night ), the weekly, HIV outreach and testing initiative for the Hispanic/Latino community in partnership with Circuit Nightclub later that night. It is a great opportunity for community organizations and partners to promote the great work they are doing alongside the HIV services team at Center on Halsted.

For more information about National Latino AIDS Awareness Day, please go tocommunity.centeronhalsted.org/nlaad or contact Duane Quintana, Keep It Up! and CDPH Projects Manager at 773-472-6469 ext. 437 or by email at dquintana@centeronhalsted.org .

About Center on Halsted

Center on Halsted is the largest, most comprehensive community center in the Midwest dedicated to advancing community and securing the health and well-being of the LGBTQ community in Chicago. The vision of the organization is a thriving LGBTQ community living powerfully in supportive, inclusive environments. For more information, visit www.centeronhalsted.org .


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