Kicking HIV in Philly on National Latino AIDS Awareness Day
By Robert Breining
October 5, 2010
A few weeks ago I went to my soccer practice and happened to see that there were representatives from Philly Vax who handed out water bottles and other cool merchandise promoting safe sex and information informing us about the trials they are running. It is an amazing feeling to know that my teammates and team are so supportive in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
This year's National Latino AIDS Awareness Day takes place October 9th, 2010 at Capitolo Recreational Center (1000 Federal St, Philadelphia, PA 19147) with a soccer tournament kicking off at 11am, and a Public Health Fair with free food and HIV testing from 1 to 5 PM. This day is a day on which we seek to raise awareness about the impact that HIV/AIDS is having among Latino communities in Philadelphia.
The HIV/AIDS epidemic is a serious threat to the Hispanic/Latino community. Hispanics/Latinos comprise 15% of the U.S. population but accounted for 17% of all new HIV infections occurring in the United States in 2006. During the same year, the rate of new HIV infections among Hispanics/Latinos was 2.5 times that of whites. In 2006, HIV/AIDS was the fourth leading cause of death among Hispanic/Latino men and women aged 35-44 (CDC HIV/AIDS Facts: HIV/AIDS Among Hispanics/Latinos, Updated August 2009.)
For seven years now, a coalition of local community based organizations has come together to promote HIV/AIDS awareness and testing among Philadelphia's Latino community. Building on the success of previous years, we have reached over thousands through street based outreach, PSAs, as well as through print and radio, and our events have reached over 850 people directly. This year the coalition has come together to launch the Philadelphia Latino AIDS Action Network (PLAAN) and to promote a local campaign called "Kick HIV" ("Patea el VIH"). The campaign seeks to promote HIV/AIDS awareness, education and testing among Latinos in Philadelphia.
This year our focus is on promoting HIV/AIDS awareness among South Philadelphia's growing Latino community by hosting a series of friendly soccer matches that will help us draw attention to HIV/AIDS as an important health issue. Over 30 community based organizations will be offering information on other health and social issues of importance to Philadelphia's Latino community; as well as promoting diabetes, high blood pressure, and cholesterol screening, among others.
If you're interested in playing in this tournament you can register here. We hope you will join us on October 9th, 2010!
The Positive Pitch
I describe myself as a "positive person with purpose." My goal is to help people living with HIV/AIDS discover similarities in each other ... and form friendships. I want to ease the shock of a diagnosis and remind people that our dreams are not infected. I am also an HIV/AIDS cyber-activist, radio show host, blogger and social network guru.
For my full bio, click here.
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