Illinois Health Department Recognizes National Latino AIDS Awareness Day

Free, confidential testing available statewide

CHICAGO–(ENEWSWPF)–October 15, 2012.  In the United States, about 1 in 5 Latinos are HIV positive and do not know it because they haven’t been tested. On National Latino AIDS Awareness Day, observed every October 15, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is encouraging the use of statewide resources to get tested for HIV, and is promoting education and awareness about HIV/AIDS in Latino communities. This year’s theme is “Hispanics United Against AIDS!”

“National Latino AIDS Awareness Day is a powerful opportunity to call attention to the need for greater education and awareness about HIV and AIDS, and to underscore the message, in the Latino community and beyond, that getting tested for HIV and knowing your status is critical,” said IDPH Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck.”

Nationwide, Latinos represent about 16 percent of the population but accounted for 20 percent new HIV infections in 2009. HIV infection rates among Latino men are almost three times higher than white men and infection rates among Latinas are four times higher than among white women. In Illinois, Latinos accounted for 17 percent of new HIV infections in 2011, and Latinos had an infection rate nearly four times that of whites.

There are numerous resources available providing easy accessibility for HIV testing that is free and confidential in Illinois. The Illinois HIV/AIDS &STD Hotline provides information about all testing sites statewide at 1-800-AID-AIDS (1-800-243-2437). Hotline callers can be served in English or Spanish. Testing sites can be found online at

Additionally, since 2009, the IDPH Center for Minority Health Services has utilized the “Text2Survive” mobile service providing free, confidential HIV testing sites via text message. Text IL + 5-digit Zip Code to 36363 for the closest testing location. This service is also available in Spanish by texting “CENTRO” + 5-digit Zip Code to 36363.For more information about HIV/AIDS resources in Illinois, visit our website at

¿Estás listo para luchar contra el SIDA? Are you ready to fight against AIDS?