Youth Blog—Commit to Action: Ways to Participate in This Year’s National Latino AIDS Awareness Day (NLAAD)
October 15th is National Latino AIDS Awareness Day (NLAAD), a yearly campaign that focuses on HIV testing, education, and prevention. NLAAD brings together many different types of people, such as local community organizers, actors, students, and people who work in healthcare. They come together to use the power and reach of social media as a way to communicate. Social media is an important tool to talk and share information on HIV. Many people use social media to make personal commitments about talking about HIV in their local communities.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that HIV and AIDS affect all communities, and anyone can be affected by HIV, regardless of your age, gender, sexual orientation, or if you’re married. Hispanics/Latinos most at risk for HIV include gay and bisexual men, women, and young people ages 13-29. Unfortunately, stigma, poverty, and limited access to healthcare make it difficult for Hispanics/Latinos to get tested for HIV testing and to be informed.
One very successful way to talk about HIV is by using social media tools. These include popular websites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram. Social media provides many choices for people who are HIV-negative or HIV-positive to talk about HIV testing and education. Many of these videos, blogs and local events share stories of personal commitments to action.
In honor of NLAAD, I want to share my commitment with you: As a health educator, I provide free and confidential HIV testing to young people. During each visit, I make sure to answer questions on sexual health and provide additional information that will be useful for each person. My commitment is to educate and make sure each person is comfortable taking an HIV test and getting tested regularly.
The links below show that people from all over the country have taken steps to speak out and organize local events during NLAAD. For example, some people have organized press conferences or have invited a local newspaper or TV station to talk about HIV. Others have offered free HIV testing in their local community, like at a health clinic or at a college campus. Even others have created YouTube videos that share their experience of getting an HIV test. Some have even invited people who are HIV-positive to share their story and talk at a local event.
There are so many ways to share your message or story; it’s as easy as clicking one of these links. I encourage you to take time to commit to starting conversations in your community about HIV.
On other ways to get involved in NLAAD:
Awareness Days / Event Planning Guide
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