November 26, 2008

BIENSTAR San Diego Celebrates Unidos en Esperanza

A day of remembrance of those who died of AIDS

BIENSTAR San Diego celebrates Unidos en Esperanza, the first annual Latino community/family event on World AIDS Day, December 1, 2008. Bringing the message back to the community, the event, which will take place at the Sherman Heights Community Center, will include free HIV test scheduling, food, candlelight vigil, altar celebration, and testimonials of HIV/AIDS infected and affected individual.

“Throughout California, 32% of residents are Latino, a rate that has been steadily increasing since the 1990’s. Since then Hispanics/Latinos account for 22% of new AIDS diagnoses and 59% of all people living with AIDS, nationwide, with San Diego County having the third highest number of AIDS cases statewide.” States Antonio Munoz, program manager of BIENSTAR. The CDC also notes that “increased injection drug use, STDs, poverty, and cultural beliefs are some of the HIV prevention challenges facing the Hispanic/Latino community.” According to the CDC’s MMWR, the HIV prevalence rates in Hispanics are 2.6 times higher than the rate for whites (585.3 per 100,000 compared to 224.3 per 100,000), nation wide (Oct. 3, 2008).

In an effort to educate and reduce the number of infected Hispanics/Latinos and remember those who have passed with HIV/AIDS. BIENSTAR San Diego will celebrate Unidos en Esperanza with a candlelight vigil and altar of remembrance, honoring the love one’s who have passed with HIV/AIDS. You can email, mail or bring a photo of remembrance to BIENSTAR San Diego to be included in a keepsake altar presentation on or before the event.

BIENSTAR – Latinos Unidos en Esperanza Celebration
Date: Monday, December 1st, 2008
Time: 6-8 PM
Location: Sherman Heights Community Center, 2258 Island Ave, San Diego, CA 92103
Event: Candlelight Vigil, Altar of Remembrance, Dinner and Refreshments
Speaker: Dr. Octavio Vallejo and Guest Testimonials

“It’s very important to remember this day, as we still are fighting this disease that is preventable.” said Antonio Munoz. This is why I invite everyone to join me to commemorate the lives of those affected by HIV/AIDS in our Latino community on World AIDS Day.

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