BALTIMORE, MD (October 15, 2012) – The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) Prevention and Health Promotion Administration (PHPA) joins federal, state, and local partners around the country in the observance of October 15, 2012 as National Latino AIDS Awareness Day. This year’s theme is Hispanics United to End AIDS.
"All Marylanders are encouraged to get educated about HIV, talk openly and encourage their friends and loved ones to get tested for HIV," said Frances Phillips, DHMH Deputy Secretary for Public Health Services.
"When it comes to HIV, knowledge of your status is power to improve and protect your health,” said Deborah McGruder, Director, PHPA Infectious Disease Bureau. “Medications are available for people living with HIV and we urge residents to seek care and treatment if needed so that they can live longer and healthier lives.”
The U.S. Census estimates that16 percent of the total U.S. population are Hispanics. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Hispanics accounted for 20 percent all new HIV infections in 2009, the most recent year these data were available. In Maryland, Hispanics represent 7.4 percent of Maryland’s adult/adolescent population and 4 percent of the total adult/adolescent living HIV cases at the end of 2010.
To raise awareness about HIV among Hispanics, Maryland’s Greater Than AIDS campaign (www.greaterthan.org
) will be launching billboards, radio announcements, and other advertising over the next few months specifically focused on the Hispanic community.