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Viva Mi Gente!: 12 Latino Celebrities and Characters Who Thrust HIV/AIDS Into Popular Culture

May 15, 2013


Viva Mi Gente!: 12 Latino Celebrities and Characters Who Thrust HIV/AIDS Into Popular Culture

Latinos often speak about themselves as if they are one big family: Viva mi gente! ("Long live my people!") If we truly are a family, then we need to be more open about speaking about sexual health and HIV/AIDS. Thankfully, many Latinos in our global family have already begun that conversation, using their celebrity status to fuel the message of HIV awareness. Though not all those featured here take the label "activist" (and those that are fictional characters, of course, never could), it's important to recognize prominent Latinos who refused to stay silent about HIV/AIDS in our communities.

Some of these Latinos choose to be active by sparking dialogue around HIV/AIDS. Some spread their message through writing, some through acting, some through openly living their lives. The fictional characters among them alerted fans in several genres to a Latino presence in the HIV epidemic. Through all their examples, one message is clear: If we want our family to thrive, then our family has to stay alive; and fighting HIV/AIDS -- which disproportionately affects Latinos -- needs to be high on our list of priorities.

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