Recognizing National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day
During the month of October, as a community, we will come together in recognizing National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day or NLAAD. This awareness day is utilized to help reach Latinx and Hispanic communities to promote HIV testing, prevention as well as access to care. This awareness day is recognized on October 15th.
This specific awareness day is one that I hold near and dear to my heart because I am an HIV-positive Latinx man.
Searching for innovative ways to reach the Latinx community
One of the main reasons why I want to highlight this specific day is because Latinx individuals are still experiencing an all-time high of infection rates. Adult and adolescent Hispanics/Latinos made up 27 percent of the 37,968 new HIV diagnoses in the United States in 2018.1
With National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day coming up, I am trying to find new and innovative ways to increase HIV testing and access to medical services. To really understand what the community wants, I had an idea to collaborate with different agencies for this specific awareness day.
Creating a Latino/Latinx working group
Some of my fellow colleagues who identify as Latino or Latinx came up with an idea to start a planning group. This planning group is made up of individuals who identify as Latino or Latinx and work for various agencies or organizations.
Our reasoning behind starting this working group is to utilize our partners' knowledge and expertise to better push forward HIV services.
When it comes to services for the Latinx community, we - as agencies - need to stop competing against one another and realize that we are trying to target and help the same individuals.
Collaboration to benefit our commuinity
This working group meeting was very positive because we went into the conversation wanting to collaborate and create an event that raised awareness for NLAAD, which we planned and will be implementing soon.
What came out of this meeting was also a realization for many individuals about how many future events we can all collaborate on. We now know how crucial the impact we could all have together and how much more beneficial our funds could be.
Innovative ways to reach the Latinx community
As for National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day, we decided that we all would choose an individual who identifies as Latino or Latinx who could speak on the services each organization offers and express the need for those services within the Latino/Latinx community.
All the individuals would come together on a panel to discuss this topic and it will be shared via an online platform. Throughout the duration of the live session, each person would continue to push HIV testing as well as linkage to medical care.
A physical event will also be going on at our facility where we would offer rapid HIV testing, food pantry goods, hygiene kits, and a clothing rack that the community could access.
Our major push for this day will, of course, be HIV testing or linkage to medical care. But we always make sure to have other services available for the community to address needs related to food insecurity, mental health, housing, and employment opportunities within the community.
This awareness day is one that I cannot wait to promote and execute.
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