Latino Town Hall Meeting in Los Angeles to Discuss Future of Ryan...

Latino Town Hall Meeting in Los Angeles to Discuss Future of Ryan White AIDS Funding

Representatives Hilda Solis and Grace Napolitano speak on behalf of the congressional Hispanic Caucus in recognition of Latino AIDS awareness day


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–(HISPANIC PR WIRE)–

ADVISORY for Friday, October 14

The Ryan White ACTION Campaign joins Bienestar Human Services on October 14 from 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm (PST) in hosting a Latino Town Hall Meeting in East Los Angeles in support of the reauthorization of the Ryan White CARE Act. Taking place as part of activities recognizing Latino AIDS Awareness Day, the town hall will bring together Hispanic government leaders, patients, health care practitioners and providers to highlight the impact of the Ryan White CARE Act on the Latino community and the current status of the legislation, which expired September 30th.

WHO:

— Congresswoman Hilda Solis (confirmed)

— Congresswoman Grace Napolitano (confirmed)

— Antonio Villaraigosa, Mayor of Los Angeles (invited)

— Gloria Molina, Los Angeles County Supervisor (invited)

— Stephen Simon, LA City AIDS Director (confirmed)

— Mario Perez, Interim Director for LA County Office of AIDS Programs and Policy (confirmed)

— Oscar De La O, Executive Director, Bienestar Human Services, Inc. (confirmed)

— Gene Copello, Executive Director, The AIDS Institute (confirmed)

— Victor Martinez, Regional Director, Bienestar Human Services, inc. (confirmed)

— Bienestar Human Services Client (invited)

— Bienestar Human Services Practitioner (invited)

WHAT:

Latino Town Hall Meeting hosted by the Ryan White ACTION Campaign (http://www.ryanwhiteaction.org) and Bienestar Human Services, Inc. (http://www.bienestar.org) on the need to reauthorize the Ryan White CARE Act for the care and treatment of people with HIV/AIDS. Town hall will include testimony from members of the Latino community on the impact of the legislation, which expired September 30, 2005.

WHEN:

Friday, October 14, 2005

12:00 -12:30 pm – Lunch

12:30 – 2:00 pm – Town Hall and Q&A

WHERE:

Bienestar Human Services, Inc.

5326 E. Beverly Blvd

Los Angeles, CA 90022

National Latino AIDS Awareness Day is a national day of awareness and prevention against HIV and AIDS in the Latino community. It salutes the more than 76,000 Latino AIDS survivors in the United States and the efforts of people living with HIV and AIDS, volunteers, and professionals who combat AIDS each day.

Latinos and other minorities living with HIV and AIDS face barriers to care because of lack of insurance, cultural and linguistic insensitivities in the health care system, or simple lack of information.

The Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resource Emergency (CARE) Act was first signed into law in 1990, named after a young man whose struggle with HIV/AIDS helped put a public face on what was then an unknown disease. Since then, the CARE Act has helped provide care and treatment for more than half a million uninsured and underinsured individuals living with HIV/AIDS, including many in the Latino community.

The Ryan White CARE Act serves as a vital safety net for Latinos, who represent the largest category of uninsured persons nationwide. An estimated 20 percent of those served by the CARE Act are Hispanic. In fact, Latinos have the second-highest AIDS case rate of any racial/ethnic group in the U.S. According to 2003 statistics, Latinos make up 13.9 percent of the population, yet accounted for 19.8 percent of U.S. AIDS cases, and 43.3 percent of those reported in California. AIDS is the sixth leading cause of death among Latinos between the ages of 25 and 34.

On October 7, 2005, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus announced its support for reauthorization. The legislation has been extended twice – both times by wide bipartisan margins in the Congress and is expected to be reauthorized this year, although there is concern that funding levels may remain flat. Without increased funding, care and treatment could be denied to some of those currently in treatment. And as the disease continues to spread into new populations and new regions across the U.S. — an estimated 40,000 new infections occur each year — the demand for lifesaving treatments will continue to increase.

About the Ryan White ACTION Campaign (http://www.ryanwhiteaction.org)

The Ryan White ACTION Campaign is a national campaign designed to raise awareness about the importance of the Ryan White CARE Act, which expired on September 30th, and why it needs to be reauthorized and adequately funded. Launched by a coalition of medical providers and HIV/AIDS advocacy organizations, including The AIDS Institute, American Academy of HIV Medicine, HIV Medicine Association, and National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors, the campaign includes the involvement of a number of prominent advocates on HIV/AIDS, including Jeanne White-Ginder and former Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher.

About Bienestar Human Services, Inc.

Bienestar Human Services is a national organization committed to enhancing the health and well-being of the Latino community through community education, prevention, mobilization, advocacy, and the provision of direct social support services.

Media Notes: To attend the Town Hall meeting and/or request interviews with any of the participants, contact Jennifer N. Devlin at 703-876-1714 or Jennifer.devlin@cox.net. On-site, contact Damon Thompson at 410- 463-0321.

Latino Town Hall Meeting in Los Angeles to Discuss Future of Ryan White AIDS Funding