National Latino AIDS Awareness Week Starts Today

The 8th annual National Latino AIDS Awareness Day (NLAAD) is on October 15, with kick-off events starting today across the country.

Community leaders and elected officials gathered this morning at New York’s City Hall to bring attention to the HIV/AIDS epidemic among Latinos in the U.S., and unite against hate crimes.

New York State in particular, has the highest number of Latinos/Hispanics living with HIV/AIDS according to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). NLAAD has teamed up with organizations around the five boroughs to offer free HIV/AIDS testing to the public, and provide prevention education. OraSure made a donation of their rapid oral fluid HIV tests, which gives results in just 20 minutes.  

NLAAD director Melissa Faith Ramirez is urging all members of the Latino community to get tested. “Social stigma, poverty, language barriers, immigration status fears, and access to care deter testing and increase the infection rate.  As a member of the Latino community, this hits close to home for me. The time has come for the Latino community to change the course of the epidemic by getting educated and getting tested for HIV.”

For more information, visit, call 1-800-232-4636, or send a text message with your ZIP code to KNOWIT (566948) to get a listing of locations offering free oral fluid testing.