NEW YORK, June 25 The Latino Commission on AIDS and itscommunity partners join eight cities across the United States (Los Angeles,New York, Washington, DC, Philadelphia, Puerto Rico, Miami, San Antonio andChicago) in releasing Latino/Hispanic HIV/AIDS Federal Policy recommendations- addressing the Latino AIDS Crisis to address the HIV/AIDS emergency inLatino/Hispanic communities across the nation, including Puerto Rico and theU.S. Virgin Islands. With 120 organizations represented by over 350individuals already signed on in support of the document, the release comes inresponse to the health emergency caused by the accelerated growth of theHIV/AIDS epidemic in Hispanic/Latino communities across the nation.
"It is unconscionable that Latinos are not getting equal access to theHIV/AIDS medical services they need and deserve," stated Congresswoman NydiaVelazquez. "I am committed to correcting this injustice, and will continue mywork -- in concert with community activists and state and federal officials --to ensure the needs of HIV patients throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico aremet."
"Latinos are testing positive for HIV, being diagnosed with AIDS and dyingfrom the disease at four times the rate per 100,000 when compared toCaucasians. This continued inattention to our needs is unacceptable. TheLatino/Hispanic HIV/AIDS Federal Policy recommendations - addressing theLatino AIDS Crisis are a wake up call to our nation and our electedofficials," said Latino Commission on AIDS President Dennis de Leon.
The announcement received support from many leaders. "NASTAD is committedto raising HIV/AIDS awareness and improving quality of prevention, care andtreatment services among Latino communities in the U.S. We are pleased withthe progress made on the development of this important document. We arelooking forward to reviewing the Federal Policy Recommendations," declaredJulie Scofield, Executive Director of the National Alliance of State andTerritorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD).
As of 2004, more than 93,000 Latinos in the United States have died as aresult of AIDS-related illnesses, and the CDC estimates that more than 80,000Hispanics are currently infected with AIDS. Over 60% of Latino HIV and AIDScases are found in California, New York, New Jersey, Texas, Florida and PuertoRico. The Latino/Hispanic community has responded to this crisis as a singlevoice.
"A historic coming together of community leaders, health departments,service providers, researchers and advocates has helped us for the first timecreate a clear national agenda to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the Latinocommunity," stated Lillian Rodriguez, President of Hispanic Federation.
Latino/Hispanic HIV/AIDS Federal Policy recommendations - addressing theLatino AIDS Crisis is a community effort to create an up-to-date HIV/AIDSpublic policy that identifies the key Latino needs, sets out specificrecommendations, mobilizes Latino/Hispanic community leadership and producesan increase in access to services, equity in funding and better quality oflife.Photos available upon request. For more information visit: http://www.LatinoAIDSagenda.org Media Contact: Oscar Raul Lopez (Cell) 646-246-7396 Guillermo Chacon (Cell) 212-920-1611
SOURCE National Latino AIDS Action Agenda Network