October 13 Arkansas to celebrate Latino HIV/AIDS Event: “Wake Up! Take Control!”

LITTLE ROCK, AR -- October 15, 2007, is National Latino AIDS Awareness Day, NLAAD. This annual observance day was created to raise awareness among the Latinos about HIV/AIDS and its devastating impact on Latino communities.

In commemoration of this day, the Arkansas Department of Health and Human Services, the Arkansas AIDS Foundation, ¡Hola! Arkansas, the Arkansas Minority Health Commission and Arkansas Human Development Corporation with the support of Gilean Science are planning the “First Arkansas Annual Latino HIV/AIDS Community Awareness Event,” Saturday, October 13 at the Southwest Community Center in Little Rock.

This year’s theme is “Wake Up! Take Control!” The event is free and open to the public. Organizers are offering a free seating down lunch and HIV testing.

“This is a community event to raise awareness to Arkansas Hispanics, the goal and primary objective of this event is to reduce minority HIV/AIDS and other health disparity rates in Arkansas through HIV/AIDS awareness,” said Yolanda West, Case Manager for Arkansas AIDS Foundation and event organizer.

The event will involve partnerships among the public health community, faith-based organizations, civic groups, HIV/AIDS organizations, and the media.

Giovanna C. Polack, B.S. Business Administration, CENFOTUR, Latino Outreach Educator will be the guest speaker. Giovanna works directly with the Latino/Hispanic Community providing HIV/AIDS education in different settings such as presentations, newspaper articles and radio programs. She is a Gilead’s Speaker since September 2,006.

HIV/AIDS in Hispanic community has reached crisis proportions "One of every five people with HIV/AIDS in this country is Latino. While the proportion of new HIV cases among Whites has fallen 44% from 1993 to 2004, the proportion of Latino cases has increased 23% over the same period," said Liany Arroyo, Director of NCLR's Institute for Hispanic Health (IHH).

"We need a new strategy that integrates new, family-focused themes with proven, tested approaches to combat the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the Latino community and we are glad to help," said Maura Lozano-Yancy, Publisher of ¡Hola! Arkansas, event sponsor.

The Southwest Community Center is located at 6401 Baseline Rd, Little Rock, AR 72206. Come and share your ideas for NLAAD ’07. Let’s celebrate life by taking a stand against AIDS.

For additional information, visit: http://www.araidsfoundation.org, and http://www.gilead.com

¡Hola! Arkansas Staff Writers

About the Author