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For Release:  October 10, 2011 – Pamela Williams, Office of Communications – 405/271-5601

Cases of New HIV/AIDS Increased in the Hispanic/Latino Community
9th Annual National Latino AIDS Awareness Day is October 15

Troubling data from the Oklahoma State Department of Health indicate that HIV cases occurring among Hispanics/Latinos in the state have doubled over the past 10 years, pushing this population to have the second highest rate of new HIV/AIDS cases in Oklahoma, almost 1.2 times higher than the state rate.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirms that the HIV epidemic is a serious threat to the Hispanic/Latino community in the U.S. While Hispanics/Latinos represent 15 percent of the population, they accounted for 17 percent of new HIV infections. The rate of new HIV infections among Hispanic men is more than double that of white men and the rate among Hispanic women is nearly four times that of white women.   

The 9th Annual National Latino AIDS Awareness Day is Oct. 15, the last day of Hispanic Heritage Month. This year’s theme, Latinos Stand Together! Let’s Stay Healthy! Get Tested for HIV speaks to the critical role of HIV testing and prevention education.  The Oklahoma State Department of Health encourages communities to host events that provide opportunities for persons to seek HIV testing, counseling and treatment. As part of these efforts, the Latino Community Development Agency (LCDA) in Oklahoma City will be hosting an HIV awareness and testing event on Sunday, Oct. 16, from 11 am till 2 pm at the soccer field located at SW 22nd and Western.

“Soccer is a common venue for Hispanic families who come out to support their soccer players,” said Nohora Chandler, HIV prevention coordinator for the LCDA. “Our goal is to provide information about HIV and provide free HIV testing.”

For more information, contact Chandler at (405) 236-0701, ext. 123, or email
lcda-vih@latinoagencyokc.org .

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