National Latino
HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
October 15th

United we can. HIV/AIDS Stops here. Prevention starts with us.

Baton Rouge AIDS Society will sponsor its 2022 15th Annual National Latino AIDS Awareness Campaing  by providing FREE HIV Testing (20 Minutes or Less) and FREE HIV/AIDS and STD Literature at our community partner site!  


October 15 is National Latino AIDS Awareness Day (NLAAD). This day marks an opportunity to increase awareness of the devastating and disproportionate effects of AIDS in the Latino community. NLAAD is also a day to encourage HIV testing and to push for support from public officials and religious leaders.

The Latino Commission on AIDS (LCOA), the Hispanic Federation and many other organizations organize this day. Hispanics/Latinos, who represent only 15% of the total U.S. population, make up 18% of new HIV infections. Among Latinos, men make up the vast majority of new HIV infections (76%), but Latino women are also at disproportionate risk for HIV. They are infected with HIV at a rate four times greater than white women.

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The Following Information Is Taken From HIV411.ORG: 


 As of July, 2008, a little more than 3% of the state's population is Latino. Of those Latinos living in Louisiana, nearly 3.5% of them are living with either HIV or AIDS.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases
On a national level, the rate of serious sexually-transmitted diseases such as chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis are two – to – three times as high among Hispanics / Latinos than among whites. This higher rate of STDs among a population can lead to a increase in that population's chances of contracting HIV partly because of the physical changes caused by sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including genital lesions, can serve as an entry point for HIV.

Hispanic/Latino Cultural Beliefs –Risk and Protective Factors
Research has shown that Hispanic/Latino cultural concepts of masculinity and femininity, thus the social norms of sexuality, have created double standards and power inequalities that have been linked to HIV risk and protective behaviors. For some Hispanic/Latino men, the traditional gender role of “machismo” has positive implications for HIV prevention, such as strength and protection of the family. However, proving masculinity through power and dominance can lead both straight and gay Hispanic/Latino men to engage in risky sex behavior, such as sex with multiple partners, unprotected sex with women or men, or sexual coercion. “Familismo,” or a strong commitment to family, can be a strong incentive for some Hispanic/Latino men to reduce unprotected sex with casual partners. Familismo can also be a source of conflict for Hispanic/Latino men who have sex with men (MSM), whose families may have a negative view of homosexuality. Further, many Hispanic/Latino MSM identify themselves as heterosexual and, as a result, may not relate to prevention messages crafted for gay men.

For some Hispanic/Latina women, the traditional gender roles, marianismo, in which women are expected to be pure and to acquiesce to men’s desires and simpatía, in which the importance of non-confrontational relationships is emphasized, combined with sexual silence impede the discussion of sexual issues and the negotiation of sexual safety with male partners. In one study, Hispanic/Latina women’s denial of personal risk for HIV infection was associated with a lack of information about how to avoid risky behaviors.

Greater acculturation into the US culture has been associated with the adoption of several health-protective behaviors among Hispanics/Latinos, including communicating with partners about sexual safety and disclosing positive HIV “serostatus” (the presence or absence of specific substances in blood serum). However, high levels of acculturation have also been associated with an increase in behaviors that are risk factors for HIV infection. In one study, highly acculturated HIV-positive Hispanic/Latino men were more likely to use drugs before sex, which increased unsafe sexual behavior and poor decision - making. For Hispanic/Latina women, those who were more highly acculturated were more likely to inject drugs and to have had a greater number of sex partners.

It is important to note, however, that because of the diversity of Hispanic/Latino people and cultures in the United States, the above-mentioned research on Hispanic/Latino cultural beliefs and HIV risk behaviors does not apply to all individuals or groups of Hispanic/Latino origin.

Immigration Issues
Click here to learn about how HIV/AIDS can affect your immigration status.

Louisiana Latino Project (LLP)
In 2006 the Louisiana Office of Public Health HIV/AIDS Program (HAP) created The Louisiana Latino Project (LLP) in response to the growing number of Latinos in the state and the lack of services available to them. In its inception, the LLP provided direct services to the Latino population. Through these interactions, the Latino Project was able to establish a strong connection between Latinos in the community and local agencies. Once the LLP cemented these relationships, it began to play a different role in the creation of culturally-appropriate services for Latinos living in Louisiana. Currently, the LLP provides encouragement, support and technical assistance for interested agencies to improve their services to Latinos throughout the state by improving outreach practices, providing different programming options and aiding in the recruitment of bilingual volunteers and staff.

National Latino AIDS Awareness Day (NLAAD)
In 2003, October 15th was established as National Latino AIDS Awareness Day (NLAAD) to draw attention to the critical role HIV testing and prevention education plays in stemming the spread of HIV/AIDS among Latino communities. It is a day during Hispanic heritage month when organizations around the country promote and sponsor activities that respond to the state of HIV/AIDS among Latinos in their specific communities.

Each year, the Louisiana Latino Health Coalition and Louisiana Latino Project (LLP) organizes various events. All the CBOs located in the 9 regions are welcome to participate. Also, other health organizations are welcome to support our CBOs. Some activities include:

  • HIV testing
  • Promoting the HIV/STDs Info Line with flyers, posters, etc.
  • Hosting outreach programs in Latino neighborhoods, restaurants, bars, nightclubs and churches.
  • Distributing educational material in Spanish, which can be ordered by contacting the OPH office
  • Raising awareness with Piñatas at the “Piñata Party”

Visit for more ideas.

At the Raising Awareness with a Piñata Party, we use the piñata in a little different way. Instead of candy and toys, our piñatas are filled with condoms, and adults try to break the piñata, not children. The piñata party is typically hosted at local night clubs (number of participating night clubs and locations pending).

Participating is an excellent way to help prevent HIV from spreading in your community. There are many activities that you or your organization can participate in to raise awareness in your community:

  • Hold a special Testing Day event in your agency. Offer incentives such as food, resources, or a social activity to have people come in and get tested. As an individual you can get tested to set the example.
  • Have a phone-a-thon; call your local representatives to tell them why this day is important and why HIV prevention is important for Hispanics/Latinos and all Americans.
  • Organize a health fair focusing on Hispanic/Latino health and educate people about HIV/AIDS in the Hispanic/Latino community. Invite local organizations, community centers, local religious communities and schools to attend.
  • Have a group of peers (dependent on the age group you would like to reach) do outreach in your local neighborhood promoting awareness about HIV in the Hispanic/Latino community. Put up posters, hand out flyers and/or distribute condoms, etc.
  • Gather your family and friends, and explain to them why this day is important.
  • Host a cultural event (i.e. concert, talent show) and invite a guest speaker or local celebrity to speak to the audience about HIV in the Hispanic/Latino community.
  • Work with your local religious communities to hold a vigil for Hispanics/Latinos living with HIV/AIDS and recognize October 15th as National Latino AIDS Awareness Day.
  • Host a fundraiser to raise money to be donated to a charity of your choice that works to fight the HIV/AIDS epidemic among Hispanic/Latinos.
  • Contact a local organization and see if there is a planned event in your area which you can help support.
  • Visit or contact this organization at (212) 675-3288 at the Latino Commission on AIDS to find out what is happening in your area. Got an event? Visit our Latest Awareness page and send us some info!

Latino – Men
Prevention Challenges
A number of cultural, socioeconomic and health-related factors contribute to the HIV epidemic in the US Hispanic/Latino community. Research shows that behavioral risk factors for HIV infection differ by country of birth. Data suggest that Hispanics/Latinos born in Puerto Rico are more likely than other Hispanics/Latinos to contract HIV as a result of injection drug use or high-risk heterosexual contact. By contrast, sexual contact with other men is the primary cause of HIV infections among Hispanic/Latino men born in Central or South America, Cuba, Mexico or the United States.

Inconsistent condom use presents another challenge when attempting to promote healthy behaviors. An assessment of HIV risk behaviors among men who have sex with men (“MSM”) in the southeastern US found that Hispanic/Latino and Black men were more likely than white men to report inconsistent condom use during anal sex with multiple partners and that Hispanic/Latino men were more likely to have never been tested for HIV infection.

However, in a study of heterosexual Hispanic/Latino men, consistent recent condom use and intentions to use condoms during the next month were associated with positive attitudes about condom use, perception that one’s partner had a positive view of condom use and greater participation in decision making about condom use.

Latino – Women
Prevention Challenges
According to a national study, Hispanic/Latina women are most likely to be infected with HIV as a result of sex with men. Some women, including those who suspect that their partners are at risk for HIV infection, may be reluctant to discuss condom use with their partners because they fear emotional or physical abuse or the withdrawal of financial support.

“Entre Mujeres” Program
“Entre Mujeres,” or “Among Women,” is a community-level HIV prevention / intervention program for Hispanic/Latino women. The program encourages them to become agents of social change within their community by empowering them to create safe environments within their social networks to promote healthier lifestyles through conversation.

Facts about Latinas and HIV/AIDS

  • In 2002, HIV/AIDS was the fourth leading cause of death among Latinas aged 35 to 44.
  • Latinas make up almost one quarter of all new HIV infections among the US Latino population.
  • Most Latinas become infected by having sex with a male partner (3 out of 4).
  • Injection drug-use is the second leading cause of HIV infection for Latinas.
  • Unprotected anal sex with an HIV-positive man is second only to sharing needles for risk of HIV transmission.

Tips for Latinas

  • Talk to your male partner about protection from HIV.
  • Try a female condom as many women like the way female condoms feel better than male condoms.
  • Use plenty of lubrication along with a condom when engaging in anal sex.
  • To prevent pregnancy, use male or female condoms rather than other contraceptive methods that do not protect against HIV (such as the pill, shots, implants and nonoxynol-9).
  • Ask your partner to get tested with you for HIV.
  • If you want to get pregnant, get tested along with your partner beforehand.
  • Taking care of sexually transmitted infections (STI) will help protect you against HIV, so get regular checkups for both STIs and HIV.

Tips for approaching a partner to wear a condom

  • Be clear on what you want your partner to do before you enter into a conversation with him.
  • Pick a time and place to talk about using condoms, making sure that it happens before foreplay.
  • Be assertive by stating your desire and needs but avoid being confrontational.
  • Consider telling your partner you need to use a condom (male or female) to prevent pregnancy.
  • Consider telling your partner that your doctor suggested you go off the pill and use condoms instead.

Tips for Latinas if their partners become angry or abusive

  • Stay calm, repeat in your mind what you want, stay on point.
  • Try to solve the problem together.
  • Show compassion to your partner but also remain assertive.
  • Change the subject to something less upsetting if your partner becomes angry and you fear what he will do to you.
  • Remove yourself from the scene if you feel you are in physical danger.
  • Get help if you are in an abusive relationship.
  • Find a way to get out of an abusive relationship to avoid putting yourself in danger.




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