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National Latino AIDS Awareness
Day: Stay Healthy! Get Tested for HIV
(October 6, 2011, EAST BOSTON, MA)—The number of people living with
HIV infection in the United States is higher than ever before, and
this hits hard in East Boston. HIV/AIDS disproportionately affects
Latinos—and East Boston is one of New England’s largest Latino
The rate of new HIV infections among Latino men is more than
three times that of white men and the rate of new HIV infections
among Hispanic women/Latinas is more than four times that of white
Data from the Centers for Disease Control shows that Latinos
progress to AIDS faster than any other racial or ethnic group, with
42% being diagnosed with AIDS within 12 months after learning of
their positive HIV status compared to 34% late diagnosis among white
non-Hispanic and 35% among blacks.
As the number of people living with HIV/AIDS continues to increase,
it is critical to reach individuals at risk for HIV/AIDS with
culturally competent and linguistically appropriate prevention
education, HIV testing, and treatment.
Testing is the essential first step in linking people with HIV to
medical care and ongoing support to help them establish and maintain
safer behaviors. Data suggests that many people, and especially
Latinos with HIV/AIDS, are diagnosed late in the course of their
infection, when it may be too late to fully benefit from
At the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center, Project SHINE meets
this critical need for HIV/AIDS services. Launched in the early
1990s, Project SHINE provides multidisciplinary, patient-focused HIV
medical care, medical case management, HIV counseling, and performs
more than 2,000 free rapid HIV tests each year.
Elisa Sosa, Project SHINE Program Manager, expressed her team’s
commitment to each client: “For our patients, many of whom are
discriminated against, marginalized, and live at or below the
poverty level, Project SHINE is a medical home in which these
individuals feel supported. They depend on us for compassionate,
personalized, high-quality, affordable care. Our patients know that
when they come in to see us, they are not a number. Rather, each one
is a person with a name who is valued and respected.”
The public is warmly invited to Project SHINE’s health fair in honor
of National Latino AIDS Awareness Day on Thursday, October 20, 2011,
from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Project SHINE will offer rapid, confidential, free HIV testing to
patients and the public as part of the HIV awareness campaign. There
will be a table at 10 Gove Street, East Boston, with informational
and educational brochures, as well as giveaways and friendly faces.
Testing will be done at Project SHINE, 79 Paris Street.
Stay healthy—for yourself and our community. Get tested!
CTR Program Coordinator, Project SHINE
East Boston Neighborhood Health Center
10 Gove St., East Boston, MA 02128
Phone: 617-568 4793
osornow (at) ebnhc.org