FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 15, 2009
Contact: HHS Press Office
Statement by Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services, on National Latino AIDS Awareness Day
“National Latino AIDS Awareness Day is a reminder of HIV and AIDS’ heavy impact on the Latino community. Every nine and a half minutes someone new is infected with HIV, and almost one-fifth of people who are living with HIV and AIDS are Latino.”
“The rate of new HIV infections among Hispanic men is more than double that among white men, with gay and bisexual men particularly affected. Also the rate of new HIV infections among Hispanic women is nearly four times that of white women. These people aren’t statistics -- they are our friends, neighbors, and people we love -- and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says the number of Latinos living with AIDS is growing.”
“National Latino AIDS Awareness Day serves as another important reminder. HIV and AIDS are preventable. Taking an HIV test gives you the power to stop HIV transmission. If you know your HIV status, you can take steps to protect your partner. If you find out you are HIV-positive, then you can get life-extending treatment. CDC recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 get tested for HIV.”
“We owe our thanks to the Latino Commission on AIDS, the Hispanic Federation, and the many faith and community organizations who organized National Latino AIDS Awareness Day to fight the stigma of AIDS among Latinos. It also sends an important message to people who are not Latino to renew our own resolve to stop the spread of HIV and AIDS.”
“HIV doesn’t have to become part of anyone’s life. All of us must be part of the solution. To find HIV and STD testing locations near you call 1-800-CDC-INFO or visit www.hivtest.org. You can also send a text message with your ZIP code to “KNOWIT” (566948).”
For more information about National Latino AIDS Awareness Day go to www.AIDS.gov or www.nlaad.org.
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Last revised: May 7, 2011