The National Latino AIDS Awareness Day 2015 press conference in New York City.

Thursday, October 15, is National Latino AIDS Awareness Day 2015 (NLAAD), which is a national community mobilization and social marketing campaign to raise awareness and also promote testing, prevention and education among the Latino community.

This year’s theme is “You and I will defeat AIDS.” It’s a call to action for everyone to work together to fight the epidemic. Coordinated by the National Latino Commission on AIDS, NLAAD encourages schools, religious groups, health departments and others to get involved in the fight against AIDS.  

“Today, we recognize the progress that has been made towards improving awareness and expanding access to HIV/AIDS treatment, and recommit ourselves to ending the AIDS epidemic in our communities,” said Jose Calderon, president of the Hispanic Federation, in an NLAAD press release. “A future without AIDS is possible if we continue to invest strategically and significantly in prevention, education, research, and services, particularly in black and Latino communities that are disproportionately impacted by HIV & AIDS.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that although Latinos comprise 17 percent of the U.S. population, they make up 21 percent of people living with HIV. The CDC also notes:

  • In 2013, Latinos had the second highest rate of new HIV diagnoses compared with other races/ethnicities.
  • Men accounted for 85 percent of the estimated new HIV diagnoses among Latinos in 2013. Most of the new diagnoses (81 percent) among Latino men occurred among gay and bisexual men.
  • By age group, the highest rate of HIV diagnosis among Latinos occurred among those who are 25 to 34 years old.

Meanwhile, the National Latino Commission on AIDS (LCOA) released a report titled “The State of HIV & AIDS Among Hispanics/Latinos in the United States and Puerto Rico.” It underscores the most recent CDC data and addresses the unique challenges to fighting the virus in Latino communities.

For more information and to download the LCOA report, click here.