New York State Department of Health to Commemorate National Latino Aids Awareness Day

Hispanic/Latino Males Represent the Largest Number of New Infections among Male New Yorkers

ALBANY, N.Y. (October 15, 2015) - The New York State Department of Health will observe National Latino /AIDS Awareness Day (NLAAD) Thursday, October 15 to call attention to the impact HIV/AIDS has on Hispanic/Latino communities. The theme of this 13th annual observance is: 'You & I Will Defeat AIDS' - 'Tu y Yo Vamos a Derrotar al SIDA'.

NLAAD is a nationwide community mobilization and social marketing event that raises awareness about HIV prevention, education, testing and treatment among Hispanics/Latinos. NLAAD works to decrease stigma and discrimination associated with HIV/AIDS, and highlights the unique sociocultural challenges that Hispanics/Latinos face.

"The higher than average rates of HIV/AIDS among Hispanic and Latino Americans demonstrates that more needs to be done to reach this community," said Commissioner of Health Dr. Howard Zucker. "As a group, they often have limited access to health care, and experience language and cultural barriers when they are in health care settings. We need to keep these challenges in mind if we are going to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic in New York."

Nationally, Hispanics/Latinos represent approximately 17 percent of the U.S. population. But theyaccount for an estimated 20 percent of people living with HIV and 23 percent of new infections. Racial/ethnic disparities in HIV/AIDS are more pronounced in New York State, where by the end of 2013, Hispanics/Latinos accounted for 32 percent of the 133,000 people living with HIV/AIDS, and 34 percent of newly diagnosed HIV cases.

"The disproportionate burden of HIV/AIDS among Hispanic/Latino New Yorkers is troubling, said Dan O'Connell, director DOH's AIDS Institute. "It is imperative that culturally appropriate HIV prevention and care programming be delivered to this population, particularly young gay men, who comprise the bulk of new infections among Hispanics/Latinos."

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has made it a priority to establish New York State as a leader in the national and global effort to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The state campaign to End the AIDS Epidemic in New York calls for reducing the annual number of new HIV infections to just 750 by the end of 2020 (from an estimated 3,000 in 2013). If successful, the initiative will achieve New York's first-ever decrease in HIV prevalence since the epidemic began in the early 1980s.

To learn more about Governor Cuomo's End the HIV/AIDS Epidemic campaign, please visit:

For information about NLAAD events near you visit:

To learn about the impact of HIV among Latinos and how to Stop HIV: One Conversation at a Time/Podemos Detener el VIH Una Conversación a la Vez,visit:

Additionally, the National HIV and STD Testing Resource website at (English) or (Español) enables individuals to enter a zip code and find local testing sites in that area. Cell phone users can send a text message containing their zip code to "KNOWIT" (566948) and within seconds, receive a return text message listing an HIV testing site in that area.

DOH has a toll-free confidential Spanish language hotline that can be accessed at: 1-800-233-SIDA. The hotline provides information about HIV and free HIV testing opportunities in communities.

Additional information about HIV/AIDS, can be found here: visit: