New York, NY In recognition of National Latino AIDS Awareness Day, part of Hispanic Heritage Month, Planned Parenthood Federation of America is joining the national call to action for Latinos to protect their health by getting tested and learning about HIV. National Latino AIDS Awareness Day is a nationwide community mobilization campaign seeking to raise the visibility of HIV/AIDS within the Latino community.

Each year, Planned Parenthood health centers provide nearly 4.5 million tests and treatments for sexually transmitted infections, including over 700,000 HIV tests.

“Latinos are disproportionately affected by HIV, and as such they would be disproportionately impacted by any defunding of Planned Parenthood. If Planned Parenthood were defunded, millions of men, women and children, including 575,000 Latinos, would be stripped of the basic preventive health care including lifesaving cancer screenings, well-woman exams, birth control, and testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections — including HIV testing — that they rely on each year,” said Vanessa Gonzalez-Plumhoff, Planned Parenthood Federation of America Director of Latino Leadership and Engagement. “Due in part to their historically limited access to health care coverage and more infrequent visits to health care providers, Latinos contract HIV at more than three times the rate of non-Latino whites, which makes it even more important that Latinos continue to have access to care. Despite ongoing political attacks, Planned Parenthood remains committed to working with Latinos and their families every day to combat HIV/AIDS and improve the quality of, and access to, culturally competent health care and education.”

Now, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, screenings for sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, are covered at no or low costs. Enrollment in affordable health plans begins again on November 1. Planned Parenthood health centers are proud to partner with the Latino community in fighting HIV/AIDS through the year-round provision of HIV screening.

Latinos are disproportionately affected by HIV. In the U.S., there are more than 1.1 million people living with HIV/AIDS, including more than  220,000 Latinos.  According to theCenters for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC), Latinos account for 22 percent of new HIV infections and contract HIV, at more than three times the rate of non-Latino whites, making HIV/AIDS the seventh-largest killer of Latinos aged 25 to 34 in the United States.

To prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS, it’s vital that anyone who is sexually active educate themselves about sexually transmitted infections (STIs), practice safer sex by using condoms,and get tested regularly for HIV. Planned Parenthood health centers are among the nation’s leading providers of HIV screening. Planned Parenthood health centers offer low-cost STI testing throughout the year, and our doors are open to everyone.

HIV is treatable. The sooner you know your status, the sooner you can get treatment, and early treatment can help prevent serious health problems down the line. HIV can be managed and HIV-positive individuals can live full lives if they know their status and take action to stay as healthy as possible.

For more information on where to get tested for HIV, visit plannedparenthood.org.

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Planned Parenthood is the nation's leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation's largest provider of sex education. With approximately 700 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.

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Planned Parenthood Federation of America

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Published

October 15, 2015