Hispanic organizations are gearing up to participate in the XIX International AIDS Conference to be held in Washington.
New York City. – With less than two weeks before the beginning of the XIX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012) in Washington, D.C., several Latino organizations in New York City are gearing up for this historic event.
Given that the Big Apple is the national epicenter of the AIDS epidemic in the US, and because Hispanics are the most affected community, this conference is of vital importance for local groups working on education, information and HIV prevention.
“Latinos represent almost 30% of the population of New York and 32% of all cases of HIV and AIDS. This means that there are around 33,000 Latinos who have been diagnosed, of the nearly 100,000 people with HIV, according to the New York City Department of Health,” says Guillermo Chacon, president of the Latino Commission on AIDS.
For Chacon it is very important and symbolic that this global event takes place in the U.S. for the first time in more than 22 years. “The reason why the conference is back in the US is because President Obama removed the restriction for people with HIV and AIDS to apply for a visa to come to the country. This has had profound significance for immigrant communities.”
“This also helps us break the bad international reputation we had that the U.S. government did not care about joining the global fight against HIV and AIDS,” says Chacon. Jesus Aguais, president of AID FOR AIDS, also highlights the importance of this event being held in the US — where there are 1.2 million people with HIV (20% are Hispanic).
“For communities working in the area of HIV in the US, and especially for the Latino community, it is vitally important that this conference is back in this country, since recent years the support and resources related to HIV have been decreasing,” says Aguais.
“After this conference in Washington, D.C., we hope to issue a voice of commitment to continue supporting our communities in areas such as prevention, treatment and research resources,” emphasizes the activist.
Besides highlighting the efforts and political and economic strategies that governments and NGOs are doing to stop the impact of HIV and AIDS worldwide, the conference will also show the latest scientific developments seeking a cure against this pandemic. In this sense, there is a great amount of optimism not seen in years.
The Latino Commission on AIDS and AID FOR AIDS, which are two of the oldest and most active organizations that advocate for Latinos and immigrants affected by HIV, will keep communities of New York informed about everything that happens in ‘‘AIDS 2012’’ through live reports from Washington.
The International AIDS Conference will be held from July 22nd to 27th at the Convention Center Washington, D.C., and it involves 25,000 people, including scientists, experts, world leaders, activists, legislators and people with HIV.
Translation from article published by El Diario. To access the original article click here: