Lowcountry AIDS Services, MUSC and the City of North Charleston are joining in on the efforts in recognizing National Latino AIDS Awareness Day (NLAAD) with a Hispanic health and information fair on October 16th from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Alston Arms Apartments in North Charleston.
Last year, over 400 people took part in the recognition of NLAAD, while 25 agencies contributed to the event. NLAAD will provide food, music and donated merchandise for prizes. This health and information fair strives to provide the public with HIV/AIDS awareness as well as some fun and entertainment.
NLAAD works to unite the Hispanic and Latino community in raising HIV awareness, encourage testing, and stresses prevention and education about this epidemic. Alston Arms Apartment Complex, located at 2410 Alston Ave., North Charleston S.C., is entirely populated by Hispanic residents, most of whom are from Mexico.
Of the states within the deep south, South Carolina has the fourth highest Hispanic/Latino HIV diagnosis, falling only behind North Carolina, Georgia and Louisiana. The high incidence rate has prompted some physicians to believe that HIV/AIDS is a “hidden epidemic.”
This years theme, “Save a Life, It May be your Own. Get Tested for HIV” is a powerful message that needs to be brought to the publics attention. According to the NLAAD website, the organization makes a difference “By facilitating partnerships, hosting community events that encourage people to seek HIV testing, counseling and treatment, and by developing and disseminating prevention strategies, we will be promoting healthy communities.”