POSTED: Wednesday, October 13, 2010 - 9:16am
UPDATED: Wednesday, October 13, 2010 - 10:14am
El Paso – As part of this year's National Latino AIDS Awareness Day this Friday, free and rapid HIV tests will be offered in Downtown El Paso.
City of El Paso Department of Public Health is behind the campaign to combat AIDS and HIV through education and regular testing.
“The HIV/AIDS epidemic is a serious threat to the Hispanic community. Many may not realize that Latinos with HIV progress to AIDS faster than any other racial or ethnic group,” said Irene Ovalle, Program Coordinator.
“The HIV Prevention Program’s goal is to reach all Latinos in the El Paso area by increasing access to free HIV testing, providing education, and offering counseling. It’s also important for people to understand that race, by itself, is not a risk factor for HIV infection. Poverty, homelessness, lack of access to health care, incarceration rates, drug use, and higher rates of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) can all increase rates of HIV,” she added.
The free HIV tests will be offered this Friday, October 15, from 9:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m. at The New Old Plantation located at 301 South Ochoa Street.