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San Diego Gay & Lesbian News: San Diego marks National Latino AIDS Awareness Day October 13

San Diego marks National Latino AIDS Awareness Day October 13
from San Diego Gay & Lesbian News. October 6, 2011

SAN DIEGO — In an effort to educate and reduce the number of HIV-infected Latinos in San Diego, the Coalition of Latino AIDS Service Providers (CLASP) will host, for the fourth time, a family event for National Latino AIDS Awareness Day (NLAAD) on Thursday, Oct. 13, at the Sherman Heights Community Center.

CLASP will bring the message to the community with this event, which will include entertainment, food and testimonials of HIV/AIDS infected and affected individuals.

The event will kick off at 3 pm with entertainment and free early HIV testing provided by the Health and Human Services branch of the County of San Diego.

New government estimates identify Latino gay men as moving from the fourth to third most impacted population in new HIV cases.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the HIV prevalence rates in Hispanics are 2.6 times the rate for whites (585.3 per 100,000 compared to 224.3 per 100,000) nationwide (MMWR Oct. 3, 2008).

Among Hispanics/Latinos, Men Account for Majority of New HIV Infections

CDC’s data show that Hispanics/Latinos are disproportionately affected by HIV, representing 18% of new HIV infections among the racial/ethnic groups examined in the new analysis (in 2006), while representing 15% of the total U.S. population.

CDC’s new analysis also indicates that men made up three-quarters (76%) of new infections among Hispanics/Latinos in 2006, the majority of which (72%) were MSM. The HIV incidence rate among Hispanic/Latino men was more than double that of white men (43.1 vs. 19.6 per 100,000).

While Hispanic/Latino women represented a quarter (24%) of new infections among Hispanics/Latinos in 2006, their rate of HIV infection was nearly four times that the rate of white women (14.4 vs. 3.8 per 100,000).

Many of the factors that place African Americans at elevated risk for HIV also contribute to disproportionate rates of infection among Hispanics/Latinos. However, some Hispanics/Latinos face additional unique challenges that place them at increased risk, including language barriers, cultural values that may impede acknowledgment of risk behaviors (e.g., machismo), and migration among those born outside the U.S. (e.g., long-term separation from main sexual partner resulting in new partners).

The San Diego event is open to agencies that deal with health disparities other than HIV.

Organizers said they would like to reach out to a broader audience by including booths with information on a variety of health issues facing Latinos today. The event’s main purpose is still geared toward HIV education and screening.

NLADD is a family-oriented event that strives to fight stigma about HIV in the Latino community, thus lowering HIV prevalence. Organizers expect more than 300 community members will participate in the event.

CLASP was established in 2001. The coalition includes membership from UCSD, County of San Diego, Planned Parenthood, Family Health Center and Chicano Federation, just to name few. All agencies actively provide HIV services and prevention to the community.

The mission of CLASP is to provide collaborative, comprehensive and culturally sensitive HIV services and prevention strategies and education to folks of all backgrounds, with an emphasis on Latino populations.

For more information about NLAAD, call (619) 543-5020 or e-mail at


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