Local and Community News
New Orleans: Young Latinos Form "Now Project" for Health
April 28, 2003
At the Soccer Tournament and Health Fair for Latinos held April 6 in City Park in New Orleans, one of the booths featured a project started by six young Latinos that addresses HIV/AIDS in the Latino community. Called New Orleans ¡Ahora! Project, or Now Project, it is a collaborative effort between the National Latina Health Network and the Institute of Women and Ethnic Studies, a nonprofit aiming to improve the physical, mental and spiritual health of minority women and their families.Adapted from:
"The ¡Ahora! Project is a Latina HIV/AIDS prevention leadership program aiming at reducing the incidence of HIV/AIDS by addressing issues of homophobia and the stigma of that illness and sexual health," said Anita I. De Anda, program director of IWES. ¡Ahora! Project uses a family-centered approach to target young Latinas, young men who have sex with men, their partners, peers and extended family, according to De Anda. Statewide, the project is the only initiative dedicated to the sexual health of Latina-Latino youth. New Orleans is one of six such national initiatives; other cities include Wichita, Kan.; Denver; Hidalgo County, Texas; La Puente, Calif.; and a statewide effort in New Jersey.
IWES's first step was the formation of the Latina-Latino Youth Advisory Team representing high schools, colleges and young workers to create and direct a local action plan. Adult members and Latino advocates were also invited to lend their support in the program. This resulted in the forming of Community Collaborative, a joint committee between IWES and the Louisiana Latino Health Coalition for HIV/AIDS Awareness.
Nationwide, Latinos are disproportionately affected by HIV, comprising 18 percent of the total AIDS cases. Social, political and cultural barriers often hamper HIV/AIDS prevention in the Latino community. For more information, telephone 504-539-9350.
Times-Picayune (New Orleans)
04.24.03; Ana Ester Gershanik
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.