News Release

September 23, 2004

LATINO HIV TASK FORCE TO OFFER FREE HIV TESTS

-The Latino HIV Task Force, a group of health agencies and community organizations, will offer free HIV testing October 15 as part of the second annual National Latino AIDS Awareness Day.

Testing will be available at Almeda Mall, 12200 Gulf Freeway; Clinica Santa Cruz, 8345 Long Point; Club Carnaval, 8150 Southwest Freeway; and the Raul C. Martinez Annex, 1001 S.Sgt. Macario Garcia, from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Each participant will receive a $10 gift certificate redeemable at Wal-Mart stores.

Hispanics in Houston and Harris County represent 18 percent of the 10,247 HIV infections reported to the Houston Department of Health and Human Services since 1999. They also make up 16 percent of the 20,492 local AIDS cases reported to the department since the start of the epidemic in 1981.

The Houston Department of Health and Human Services convened the task force in 2002 to help increase education and awareness of HIV, AIDS and sexually-transmitted diseases among Hispanics.

The task force is comprised of 19 health agencies and community-based organizations that administer HIV and AIDS prevention programs or medical treatment and various community organizations.

For more information, call 713-794-9020.

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