There were two events last week where leaders from the Latino community came together to talk about HIV. The first event was a meeting at the White House on implementing the National HIV/AIDS Strategy in the Latino Community. Watch a recorded video of the event here .
In addition, the Latino Commission on AIDS (LCOA) and the National Latino AIDS Action Network (NLAAN) recently sponsored a Congressional Briefing: Addressing Health Reform and a National HIV/AIDS Strategy for Latino/Hispanic Communities. In a Capital Hill room filled beyond capacity, the large audience heard several key messages about the approach of National Latino AIDS Awareness Day (October 15) and learned about the impact of the epidemic on Hispanics/Latinos. All of us in attendance heard how the National HIV/AIDS Strategy is an important means to enhance the collective response to the epidemic among these communities.
I had the opportunity to speak with some of the speakers at these events, including Mr. James Albino , Senior Program Manager in the White House Office of National AIDS Policy , who offered ideas on how Latino/Hispanic communities can build upon the Strategy and told me about today’s White House meeting on implementing the National HIV/AIDS Strategy in the Latino Community. Mr. Guillermo Chacon, President of LCOA, told me about the need to increase awareness, testing and linkages to care among Hispanics/Latinos. He also told us how individuals in communities across the nation can (and should) get involved in implementation of the Strategy’s goals. Dr. Britt Rios-Ellis, Director of the National Council of La Raza’s (NCLR) Center Latino Community Health spoke with me about the HIV-related community health workers who are working in their communities conducting community outreach, growing knowledge and awareness, increasing attention to testing, and generally decreasing stigma. You can see highlights from these conversations below: