Monday, October 10, 2011

W.O.M.E.N. hosts HIV testing for National Latino AIDS Awareness Day

All this week, Nashville's W.O.M.E.N. (Women On Maintaining Education and Nutrition) is promoting National Latino AIDS Awareness Day and HIV testing. W.O.M.E.N. has Spanish-speaking staff and also a food pantry. The agency is located at 417 Welshwood Dr., Suite 303, Nashville, TN, 37211.

There is also a Spanish-language announcement on the W.O.M.E.N. web site.

October 15th was established in 2003 as National Latino AIDS Awareness Day (NLAAD) in response to the devastating impact HIV/AIDS has on Hispanic/Latino communities across the country. It was established to draw attention to the critical role HIV testing and prevention education plays in stemming the spread of HIV/AIDS among Hispanics/Latinos. It is a day during Hispanic Heritage Month that organizations around the country use to promote and sponsor activities that respond to the state of HIV/AIDS among Hispanics/Latinos in their specific communities.

According to NLAAD, Hispanics/Latinos progress to AIDS faster than any other racial or ethnic group with 42% being diagnosed with AIDS within 12 months after learning of their positive HIV status compared to 34% late diagnosis among white non-Hispanic and 35% among blacks. Hispanics/Latinos represent 16% of the population but account for an estimated 18% of people living with HIV and 18% of new infections.

Improvements in health status are attributed to raising awareness, promoting HIV testing, disseminating prevention strategies, and connecting Hispanics/Latinos to health care.

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