NEW YORK, Oct. 14 On the eve of the last Presidential debate, the Latino Commission on AIDS issued a Call for Endorsement of National Latino AIDS Awareness Day (NLAAD) to Senators John McCain and Barack Obama. "We need the commitment of the future President of the United States to bring HIV prevention and care to the barrios of Hispanics throughout the United States and Puerto Rico," stated Dennis DeLeon, President of the Latino Commission on AIDS. "The epidemic among Latinos across the nation has begun to reshape our families as children are raised without parents. We are facing a crisis. In 2006, Hispanics in the 50 States and the District of Columbia averaged 21.8 new cases of AIDS per 100,000 persons compared to 6.6 cases for White non Hispanics. In Puerto Rico the death rate is 14.4 per 100,000 compared to an average rate of 4.2 for the other 50 States of the Nation," said Mr. DeLeon.
NLAAD was started in 2003 to take place on October 15, the last day of Hispanic Heritage Month and the first day of renewing the Latino community's fight against HIV/AIDS. Over the past six years there were hundreds of activities in dozens of states to mark NLAAD. Tens of thousands of Hispanics have been tested for HIV and others joined their local health and elected officials to raise awareness of the needs of Hispanics locally. "In 2008, we estimate there will be many more activities in 40 States plus the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and in the Mexican State of Chihuahua, to promote awareness within and outside the Latino community of the disease burden this community has carried," said Liliana Ranon, Director of NLAAD. www.nlaad.org
"For those of us promoting HIV prevention and education every day is Latino AIDS Awareness Day. We must keep promoting HIV testing, education and proven prevention strategies to stop the spread of HIV," stated Guillermo Chacon, Vice President of the Latino Commission on AIDS.
On June 24, 2008, the National Latino AIDS Action Network issued its Federal Action Recommendations for United States Presidential Candidates. The Commission and all the hundreds of other organizations involved in drafting the Agenda are still waiting for the response of the two Presidential Candidates. These are key reforms that can and should be implemented by Senator McCain or Senator Obama upon becoming President of the United States. The recommendations are set out in www.latinoaidsagenda.org
Guillermo Chacon (212) 920-1611; firstname.lastname@example.org
ABOUT THE LATINO COMMISSION ON AIDS
The Latino Commission on AIDS (LCOA) is a nonprofit membership organization founded in 1990 dedicated to fighting the spread of HIV/AIDS in the Latino/Hispanic communities. The Commission is the leading national Latino AIDS organization coordinating National Latino AIDS Awareness Day and other prevention and advocacy programs in more than 40 States and Puerto Rico. For more information visit:
www.latinoaids.org or www.nlaad.org. UNIDOS PODEMOS / UNITED WE CAN
SOURCE Latino Commission on AIDS