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Home | Tag Archives: National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day

Tag Archives: National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day

Department of Health celebrates National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day

The City of El Paso Department of Public Health’s HIV Prevention program will join agencies and organizations across the country in celebrating National LatinX AIDS Awareness Day (NLAAD) as a way to raise awareness about issues that Latino/Latina/Latinx individuals face at all stages of the HIV epidemic.

The theme for this year’s National Latinx HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is “Living with HIV or not…we’re fighting this together” with a focus on the tools available to address HIV in our communities and the elimination of HIV-related stigma.

In 2017 almost 4,400 cases of HIV were newly diagnosed in Texas with 133 of them diagnosed in El Paso.

“We have seen about a 30 percent increase in cases in El Paso, and while we are glad that more people are being tested, we are continuing our efforts to help end this epidemic,” said Irene Ovalle, HIV Prevention Program Manager.

Organizers also say it is important to draw attention to the many barriers and inequalities Latinos face that can lead to HIV infection.

Some factors include: stigma, low access to healthcare, language barriers in the healthcare system, lack of health insurance and/or appropriate documents, and hesitation to talk about sexual health with medical professionals, family or friends.

“Recent trends in immigration policies have caused many Latinx individuals to put off needed care or seek out testing services because of their immigration status. Many people do not realize that HIV testing services are offered regardless of immigration status or income,” Ovalle said. “Putting off testing can lead to a late diagnosis and negative health outcomes.”

Free, confidential, and rapid HIV Testing will take place both Tuesday, October 15, and with extended hours on Wednesday October 16 at the HIV Prevention Program located at 701 Montana Avenue.

Hours on Tuesday will be from 8:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Extended hours on Wednesday will be from 8:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and from 1:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Free HIV Testing Set for National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day

More than 2,000 residents are currently living with HIV in El Paso County, and of those newly diagnosed, 90 percent are Hispanic/Latinx.

In order to reduce these statistics, the City of El Paso Department of Public Health (DPH) is joining departments and agencies across the nation in celebrating National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day.

Although the official celebration took place on Sunday, October 15, 2017, the DPH will provide free testing midweek and after hours in order to accommodate those who work or attend school during the day.

“We want to make sure we are doing everything we can to reach our Hispanic population here in El Paso and do our very best to reach individuals who have never been tested, said Irene Ovalle-Valdez, Program Manager. “We want everyone in our community to know that this life-saving test is free, confidential, and only takes one minute to complete.”

The free HIV testing will take place on Wednesday, October 18, from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the HIV Prevention Program located at 701 Montana Avenue. More information is available by calling (915) 212-6665.

Organizers say testing every year is critical so that everyone knows their HIV status. As of 2016, nearly 87,000 people were known to be living with HIV in Texas and nearly 4,500 cases were diagnosed last year alone. In 2015, an estimated 39,500 people were diagnosed with HIV infection in the United States.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in seven individuals living with HIV don’t know their status.

For more information on the programs and services we provide, please dial 2-1-1 or visit www.EPHealth.com or www.EPSalud.com.

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