Posts tagged HIV/AIDS
U.S. Latinos continue to be heavily impacted by HIV/AIDS, accounting for higher rates of new HIV infections, AIDS diagnoses, and people living with HIV than their white counterparts.
Of the approximately 1.1 million people living with HIV/AIDS in the U.S, 205,000 are Latinos.
As the largest and fastest growing ethnic minority group in the U.S., addressing HIV/AIDS in the Latino community takes on increased importance in efforts to improve the nation’s health.
Learn more about Latinos and HIV/AIDS in this newly updated fact sheet from the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Editor’s Note: This post is part of an ongoing series that will highlight the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s work in Latino communities across the country.
SaludTodayGuest Blogger: David Krol
Just last month, Christina Rodriguez spoke at a United Nations press conference marking 30 years of the AIDS epidemic. The event was web-streamed live around the world.
Her opening words spoke volumes about her personal journey and advocacy:
“I am 20 years old,” Christina stated, “and I have not known a world without HIV.”
Christina’s mother, Susan Rodriguez, learned in 1995 that her husband was diagnosed with AIDS. After testing she found out she was also HIV-positive. All three of her children were then tested, and it turned out that Rodriguez’s middle child, Christina, had HIV through mother-to-child transmission. Christina’s father died a year and a half later of AIDS at a time when lifesaving HIV medications were just starting to become available.
Out of this multiple tragedy came SMART University (Sisterhood Mobilized for AIDS/HIV Research and Treatment), which Susan co-founded in 1998 because of the lack of good information for women about the disease. She thought the grassroots organization, based in the East Harlem community of New York City, might help make a difference in the fight against HIV/AIDS. A dozen years later, she still sees its impact from that perspective—as well as from other unexpected views.
SMART University provides treatment education for women living with HIV/AIDS so they may receive optimal treatment and care. In particular, it empowers them with tools and information they need to make informed health care decisions. It also helps them advocate for quality HIV care for themselves and their families.
Rodriguez has been widely praised for her work and advocacy. In 2010, she was recognized by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation as one of its Community Health Leaders. The honor recognizes individuals who have overcome daunting odds to improve the health and quality of life for vulnerable men, women and children in underserved communities across the United States.
As Rodriguez received her award of recognition, her now-grown daughter looked on proudly. Both are healthy and continuing the fight of living with HIV.
“Because I have a great mom and because of the work she does, I learned about condoms and sex in a healthy and open environment,” Christina says.
She took that knowledge and in 2005 co-founded SMART Youth, a development and leadership program for young people living with or affected by HIV/AIDS. Through weekly meetings, the organization gives information and teaches skills in order to change the world one youth at a time.
Together, Susan and Christina Rodriguez have transformed their personal misfortune into successful initiatives to enable other families to stay healthy and prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation will begin accepting nominations for the 2012 Community Health Leaders awards in August 2011.
For more information, visit, www.rwjfleaders.org/programs/community-health-leaders.
The Office of Minority Health’s HIV/AIDS Prevention Bilingual Glossary provides linguistic support to individuals and organizations working with Spanish-speaking populations in the U.S. The terms included are commonly used in public health and HIV/AIDS prevention in the U.S.
With the glossary, users can:
- Find Spanish equivalents for English words and English equivalents for Spanish words;
- Rate the translations provided;
- Use the tag cloud to find commonly searched terms; and
- Comment on how we can improve the glossary.
Congressional and Latino community leaders called for enhanced efforts to combat the growing HIV epidemic in their communities and adequate resources to implement the Administration’s new HIV/AIDS Strategy during a recent Capitol Hill congressional briefing.
The briefing responded to the release of the White House HIV/AIDS Strategy, which addresses the growing HIV/AIDS epidemic among communities of color nationwide by identifying the most heavily impacted jurisdictions with rising incidences of HIV/AIDS.
Hispanic leaders also expressed their fears that, due to ongoing financial crises in jurisdictions with the highest number of Latino HIV and AIDS cases, HIV prevention and treatment programs were suffering cuts.
“Recognizing that our communities have faced persistent barriers to accessing HIV services, I commend the President for unveiling the HIV/AIDS strategy, with a goal to reduce the number of new cases by 25 percent in the next 5 years,” said Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard, chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Health Care Task Force. “However, it is critical that we stay vigilant to ensure the promises of health care reform and the national HIV/AIDS strategy do in fact provide comprehensive, measurable improvements in access, prevention, and HIV/AIDS outcomes in our Latino communities.”
The Capitol Hill congressional briefing officially kicked off the National Latino AIDS Awareness Day (NLAAD) events, which are organized annually on October 15th in more than 300 cities and 45 states across the country and territories. NLAAD was established in 2003 to act as a community mobilization catalyst to prevent the spread of HIV infection in Latino communities.
The Latino Commission on AIDS, the Metropolitan Latino AIDS Coalition (MLAC), the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD), the National Minority AIDS Council (NMAC),the Hispanic Federation, Salud Latina/Latino Health and the National Latino AIDS Action Network (NLAAN) are working together to educate Congress about the impact of HIV/AIDS among Hispanics.
The U.S. Office of Minority Health Resource Center (OMHRC) is launching the Latino Mentoring Training Institute (LMTI) to increase leadership, mentorship and conflict-management skills among community-based and faith-based organizations working in HIV/AIDS prevention, education and treatment among Latinos.
The LMTI is a skill-building training and knowledge sharing project designed to prepare community leaders to respond to the current challenges and needs in Latino communities across the U.S.
Increasing the mentorship, leadership and conflict-management skills in the Latino nonprofit sector is essential to continue the HIV prevention efforts among the Latino population in the U.S. By building the capability of the leaders in these key areas and developing a broad understanding of their inter-connectivity, the LMTI prepares the participants to focus on strategies and actions that will enhance organizational effectiveness.
LMTI will form a Mentoring and Leadership Network of national nonprofit Latino leaders from an array of organizations working on community challenges related to HIV/AIDS.
The LMTI will also provide new opportunities for Latino leaders to come together to learn from each other, to collectively develop their skills and focus on developing a new generation of leaders in the field of HIV/AIDS prepared to work collaboratively at the local, regional and national level.
To see who can apply and when, go here.