Conference Notables Take HIV Test on Site and Encourage Latino Community to...

Conference Notables Take HIV Test on Site and Encourage Latino Community to Follow Their Lead

Policymakers and healthcare professionals convene in Miami to underscore disparities among Latinos keynote speaker celebrity Erik Estrada advocates prevention


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Fogelsville, PA–(HISPANIC PR WIRE)–July 21, 2006–Once predominantly a disease affecting Non-Hispanic whites, after 25 years, the HIV/AIDS pendulum swings even farther toward racial and ethnic groups. Minority populations continue to disproportionately bear the burden of HIV/AIDS, with Latinos accounting for 20 percent (8,672) of the 42,514 new diagnoses in the United States. Keynote speaker and celebrity Erik Estrada joins Minority Health Care Communications, a professional organization providing culturally sensitive medical education for healthcare professionals, at the 2006 National Conference on Latinos and AIDS at the Miami Beach Resort and Spa/4833 Collins Avenue Miami, Fla., July 24 through 25, 2006 at 8:30am, to enlist support of dignitaries and healthcare professionals to increase HIV/AIDS education and testing in the community.

Several conference notables plan to take an oral HIV swab test to demonstrate the ease of testing.

Since the first reported case, the proportion of AIDS cases diagnosed has dramatically switched from predominantly affecting non-Hispanic whites (47 percent between 1981 and 1995) to predominantly affecting non-Hispanic blacks (50 percent) and Hispanics (20 percent) between 2001 and 2004. In 2004, estimated HIV/AIDS case rates for Hispanics (29.5 per 100,000) were 3.3 times higher than whites (9.0 per 100,000).

The Latino community continues to face challenges in accessing health care, prevention services and treatment. According to the CDC, in 2002, HIV/AIDS was the third leading cause of death among Hispanic men aged 35 to 44 and the fourth leading cause of death among Hispanic women of the same age group. Hispanic women are most likely to be infected with HIV as a result of having sex with men. In a study of heterosexual Hispanics living in the United States (Hispanics: the National AIDS Behavioral Surveys, as reported in the Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences), 16 percent had sexual risk factors for HIV, including multiple sex partners or partners with risk factors for HIV infection. Another study demonstrated that women, who suspect that their partners are at risk for HIV infection, might be reluctant to discuss the use of birth control with them because they fear emotional or physical abuse or the withdrawal of financial support.

The conference will feature many of the nation’s preeminent experts on HIV/AIDS and issues affecting the Latino community, including: Erik Estrada, Honorary Chairperson, The National Conference on Latinos and AIDS; Christopher Bates, Acting Director, Office of HIV/AIDS Policy, Department of Health and Human Services; Dennis deLeon, Founder, Latino Health Advocacy Coalition, Latino Commission on AIDS; Marta Leon-Monzon, Ph.D., Office of AIDS Research, HIV/AIDS Vaccine Coordinating Committee, NIH; Orlando Gomez, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Epidemiology and Public Health and Pediatrics, University of Miami, School of Public Health; among many others.

Minority Health Care Communications, Inc., is a non-profit health education organization focused entirely on the creation and promotion of specialized healthcare education conferences, seminars, and workshops on HIV/AIDS and Cancer in the African American and Latino communities. For more information, visit the Web site at http://www.minority-healthcare.com.

Conference Notables Take HIV Test on Site and Encourage Latino Community to Follow Their Lead