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PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360
|Fred M. Jacobs, M.D., J.D.|
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The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) is coordinating with agencies throughout the state to observe National Latino AIDS Awareness Day in a series of events designed to raise understanding of the impact of HIV/AIDS on the Latino community, and to encourage people to learn their HIV status.
The theme for this year is "Despierta! Toma Control! Hazte La Prueba Del VIH" (Wake Up! Take Control! Take the HIV Test!). Events scheduled include community health fairs, rapid HIV testing and community forums/conferences.
"HIV/AIDS disproportionately impacts members of the Latino community in
Latinos account for just 15 percent of
Monday, October 15 is the fifth annual observation of National Latino AIDS Awareness Day . The observance was created in 2003 by the Latino AIDS Commission and the Hispanic Federation, in partnership with community based organizations, people living with HIV/AIDS, and local public health agencies to educate the Latino community about HIV/AIDS and to promote HIV testing.
This year over 350 organizations throughout the country are planning events of various kinds to commemorate this day to raise awareness about HIV, and to encourage Latinos to take control of their health by getting tested for HIV. .
All events will be co-sponsored by the six community-based Latino agencies funded by the DHSS a few years ago, to conduct intensive outreach and expand HIV testing to at-risk and "out-of-care" Latinos.
"The first step to preventing the continued disproportionate spread of AIDS in the Latino community to ensure each individual knows their HIV status," said Dr. Jacobs. "These agencies are doing excellent work in extending the reach of Rapid HIV testing to high risk communities, and we are proud to support their efforts."
The Rapid HIV test is important in decreasing the spread of HIV because it overcomes a major obstacle in HIV testing. Getting the results in 20 minutes means people no longer have to wait one or two weeks and return to the testing site to receive their results.
In 2003, before Rapid HIV testing was available,
With the Rapid HIV test, clients receive their results 99.3 percent of the time. As a result, more than 25,000 additional New Jerseyans learned their HIV status.
The following events will be held in
Department of Health
P. O. Box 360, Trenton, NJ 08625-0360