October 15, 2007
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Despite cultural taboos a Latina comes forward to share her experiences in hopes her story will combat misconceptions about living with HIV.
To celebrate National Latino AIDS Awareness Day (NLAAD) October 15, Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) in collaboration with Contra Costa Television (CCTV) and the Bay Area National Latino AIDS Awareness Day (BANLAAD) coalition will debut a new episode of Vida Sana en Vivo that includes an interview with a Latina who's living strong after being diagnosed with HIV more than 14 years ago. The new episode also features interviews with an immigration lawyer, a physician and an HIV counselor. The Spanish language "HIV and Latinas" episode will air on CCTV on October 18 at 3:30 p.m. and October 19 at 5 p.m. and will be replayed the following Thursday at 3:30 p.m. and Friday at 5 p.m. (Contra Costa Television can be seen on channel 27 with Comcast and 32 for Astound cable)
"The HIV and AIDS epidemic has heavily impacted Latinas. It's important that we breakthrough the misconceptions and stigmas that enable the disease to spread. This is why we wanted someone whose been diagnosed with HIV to share their story," said Carla Goad, Chair of BANLAAD 2007.
Goad said this year's NLAAD theme is "Wake-up, Take Control and Take the HIV Test". The show will explain how and where to test for HIV and will provide information on support services, legal services and prevention.
"Anyone who has unprotected sex, shares needles or partners with those who do, runs the risk of becoming infected with HIV. While we know what activities we're involved in, we may not always know what our partners are doing outside of the home, and the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) recommends everyone 13-65 years be tested," said Goad.
Goad said rumors surrounding immigration issues and HIV and AIDS may be of concern in the Latino community and the show interviews a lawyer specializing in these types of situations.
"We know some viewers may not want to test for HIV because they fear loosing their green cards but that's not true. There are agencies that can help clarify the law and the show provides that information," said Linda Tam, Supervising Attorney in the House Law Unit at the East Bay Community Law Center.
The new episode provides phone numbers where viewers can get confidential rapid tests, legal services, counseling and more. More information about Vida Sana en Vivo is available online at cchealth.org.
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