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On Monday, October 15th it was the 10th year anniversary of National Latino AIDS Awareness Day. It was founded on Oct. 15th, 2003 to end the Hispanic Heritage Month national celebration.

It is an important day because it gives us the opportunity to be in solidarity with all of those who are infected with AIDS and at at the same time makes us reflect on the fact that there is still much more to do to irradiate AIDS.

Latinos are disproportionally affected by AIDS and this is a serious problem that we have to find a way to address.

We need to do a better job of preventing HIV infections, raise more awareness and make sure there is access of resources for Latinos such as testing.

On Friday, October 12th, the Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Campaign of North Carolina (APPCNC) held their annual Hispanic Symposium. And I think that this was a way to address this important issue.

The focus this year was “Hot Topics in Latino Adolescent Health,” addressing some of the pressing needs of the Latino community.

Presenters included an immigration lawyer who talked about deferred action (the change in immigration policy announced June 15th), health issues affecting Latina/o (s) adolescents.
To start off with APPCNC is one of the most awesome organization that I know of. I was a member of the inaugural youth council, initially called the North Carolina Youth Leadership Council my junior year of high school.

APPCNC was the stepping stone to being an effective advocate for reproductive rights.

I think the conference overall was great because often times before we talk about AIDS and HIV we have to first be able to talk about our sexual health, because as is sometimes the case, it is not ok to talk about it. Having these hard conversations is important so that we can move forward.

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