National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day
Every year I try to highlight the work my community and my peers do around national awareness days. I try to highlight these days to my family and friends in my fight toward ending the HIV epidemic.
The next recognition day is National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day which is observed on October 15th. This day is to raise awareness and address the disproportionate impact that HIV has had on the Hispanic and Latino/x communities in the United States.
Awareness day highlights
National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day highlights education, HIV testing, and prevention.
All these things can be barriers and issues that the Latino/x community face throughout life. According to the CDC, the incidence rate of Hispanic/Latino individuals was 4 times that of non-Hispanic white individuals. Latino/x people have accounted for more than a quarter of new HIV diagnoses each year.1
Addressing the elephant in the room
There is a lack of access to services across the board regarding an individual's HIV prevention. If an individual cannot access services for their mental health, housing, employment, or food, then something like preventative measures around HIV may not be at the top of their priority list.
I identify as a Latino gay male who has been living with HIV for a long time. I do not recall a time when HIV prevention was brought up in conversations dealing with my health before my diagnosis.
If your healthcare provider does not bring up HIV prevention, you should do your research and ask questions.
The importance of access to testing
I want to ensure that I spread visibility around National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day each year because so many of my brothers and sisters in my community are not getting tested.
I do not see many resources throughout social media that are in Spanish spreading information about HIV. I believe that having bilingual social media graphics will help encourage our community to ask questions and not be afraid to advocate for their health. Offering monolingual Spanish speakers a way to learn more about HIV without feeling judged will bring us closer to ending the epidemic.
Recognizing National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day
This year in honor of this day, we are putting together an Open Mic night. This event will be in recognition of National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day and will shed light on HIV prevention.
The event will consist of poetry, spoken word, singing, and performing. We want some of the performances to speak on things like diagnosis, disclosure, and stigma. So far, we have one individual who will do a poem about living a long life with HIV. I cannot wait to give my community a space to feel safe and confident in sharing their story with other individuals.
I hope moving forward that you all can help me shed light on National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day and what it represents because HIV/AIDS is still affecting our community today. Something as simple as posting about it or sharing someone else's post can go a long way.
Have you ever been unhoused or insecurely housed?