This year on October 15 and throughout the month, events dedicated to National Latino AIDS Awareness Day (NLAAD) will take up the cause of HIV/AIDS awareness among Latinos and Latino communities. Disproportionately affected by HIV, Latinos made up twenty percent of new HIV infections in the U.S., according to 2009 data, while composing only sixteen percent of the total population in the U.S. Latino men who have sex with men (MSM) have been especially hard-hit, accounting for eighty-one percent of new HIV infections among all Latino men.
The awareness day is organized by the Latino Commission on AIDS (LCOA) and the Hispanic Federation, among others, and helps make good on the NLAAD campaign’s year-round goal of building capacity for non-profits and health departments in order to reach out to Latino/Hispanic communities, promote HIV testing, and provide HIV prevention information and linkages to care.
More than 300 institutions in over 250 cities across the U.S., Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands will participate. In New York City, for example, Bailando Por Una Causa: A Night of Dancing will take to the stage to offer audiences an evening of dance to benefit LCOA. BAILA Society (BASo), which is also presenting the event, Ballet Hispanico’s BHdos, and the José Limón Dance Foundation, Unified Dance Studio, Anaïs Haven, and Arch Dance Company, among others, will offer exciting performances at El Museo del Barrio on October 12. An after-party will follow the fourth annual event, which brings together diverse genres of dance to represent the diverse communities impacted by HIV/AIDS.
All proceeds will benefit the educational and support services of LCOA, a nonprofit membership organization founded in 1990 dedicated to addressing the health challenges and responding to the impact of HIV/AIDS (www.latinoaids.org).
“As the son of a mother who died of AIDS and a father who contracted HIV, recovered and is now living a healthy life, it means a lot to me to collaborate again with the Commission,” said Joseph Rivera, co-founder of Baila Society, in a press release. “We are very proud to bring together this talented collection of dancers with the hopes of not only raising money for the Commission but to also create awareness for the vital work the Commission does in combating HIV/AIDS throughout all communities.”
Be sure to check out what is happening in your area by logging on to www.nlaad.org.
For more information about Bailando Por Una Causa, log on to: www.bailandoporunacausa.org or www.bailasociety.com. To purchase tickets log on to the Bailando Web site or email Natasha Quirch at [email protected] or at 212.675.3288 x316.