October 11, 2021
Moving Towards Ending the HIV Epidemic
National Latino/a/x AIDS Awareness Day (NLAAD) is observed each year on October 15, to raise awareness of the impact of HIV on Latino/a/x populations in the US. While they make up about 19% of the US population, Latinos accounted for 27% of all new HIV cases in 2018, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).Among Latino men, those who have sex with men account for the largest proportion of new diagnoses (85%). NLAAD provides a powerful opportunity to call the nation’s attention to these stark statistics, and to focus on the actions we can take to turn the tide.
CDC has a new NLAAD digital toolkit available to help share important messages on stopping HIV stigma and promoting HIV prevention, testing, and treatment. I encourage all of our Hermandad and local chapters to share these messages to bring awareness to HIV in our community. The toolkit makes it easy – simply download the graphics and copy the social media messages to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
La Unidad Latina’s greatest strength is its Hermanos. So in recognition of NLAAD, here are three things we all can do today to make a big impact for our future:
- Know your HIV status. CDC recommends that everyone ages 13-64 get tested for HIV at least once. Knowing your HIV status empowers you to choose the best options for staying healthy. Order a FREE self-testing kit, or find a testing location near you using CDC’s service finder.
- Learn about HIV prevention and treatment. Today there are more options than ever to prevent HIV, which include using condoms and medicines like PrEP to protect yourself and your partners. If you have HIV, it’s important to make choices that keep you healthy and protect others.
- Talk about HIV in your communities to help normalize conversations about HIV. Despite the progress of medicine over the years, many people continue to believe HIV myths. Talking about HIV and spreading the facts can help to eliminate HIV stigma and the discrimination people with HIV may face.
CDC’s Let’s Stop HIV Together campaign has additional resources that you can use to share important information in our communities:
- National HIV/AIDS awareness day calendar: Resources to support raising HIV awareness throughout the year.
- HIV prevention social media toolkits: Content and social media graphics to promote HIV prevention, testing, treatment, and anti-stigma messaging. This also includes a Spanish toolkit that contains ready-to-go messages you can post for your Spanish-speaking followers.
- Stigma Resources: HIV stigma can have negative impacts on people with HIV. Learn more about Let’s Stop HIV Together’s HIV stigma resources such as personal videos about HIV stigma, tips to stop HIV stigma and discrimination, stigma scenarios, and HIV stigma pledge cards, which can help us eliminate HIV stigma in Latinx communities.
I look forward to seeing how our Hermandad rises to the challenge and joins the movement to end the HIV epidemic.