The ongoing AIDS epidemic in the United States disproportionately affects Latinos. Recognizing the need to stem the spread of this disease through community education and effective public policy in New York State, the Hispanic Federation formed Latinos Unidos Contra El SIDA (LUCES), or Latinos United Against AIDS, an HIV/AIDS education and advocacy coalition.
Under the sponsorship of the Federation, LUCES develops public policy, advocates for a Latino HIV/AIDS agenda, and provides culturally competent AIDS education to the Latino community. LUCES can point to major successes, including:
- An annual Latino HIV/AIDS Survey providing important information about AIDS-related knowledge, attitudes and behaviors among Latino New Yorkers;
- Media coverage of HIV/AIDS issues affecting Latinos through articles in El Diario/La Prensa and various Spanish language radio stations;
- Sponsorship of staff development seminars that provide new information and strategies on HIV prevention and education;
- More Latino organizations securing capacity-building services, which promotes HIV/AIDS program sustainability; and
- Sponsorship of a Latino Legislative Advocacy Day to educate state legislators about the impact of HIV/AIDS within Latino communities and the need to increase funding and promote progressive AIDS policies.
For more information about HIV/AIDS awareness, please contact Samantha Paz.