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Miss Universe 2008 Dayana Mendoza Joins the Fight Against AIDS by Getting Tested for HIV
Date:10/8/2008

NEW YORK, Oct. 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Miss Universe 2008 Dayana Mendoza demonstrates her commitment to the fight against AIDS, by getting publicly tested for HIV at the 6th annual National Latino AIDS Awareness Day 2008 kick-off event on October 9th at 4 p.m. at the Julia de Burgos Cultural Center located at 1680 Lexington Avenue, New York City, New York.

The impact of the epidemic continues to disproportionately affect the health and wellbeing of Latinos across the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Latinos in the U.S. represent 15.3% (U.S. Census Bureau) of the population but account for 24.3% of the new HIV infections (CDC). In response to the state of emergency posed by this disease National Latino AIDS Awareness Day was created to raise the visibility of the HIV/AIDS crisis in Latino communities across the country. October 15th was designated as NLAAD, as it culminates the celebration of Hispanic Heritage month and represents a call to action for Latinos across the country to protect the ones you love by getting tested for HIV and accessing prevention services.

"As the epidemic continues to devastate Latino families across the country, it is important to promote that HIV testing should become a routine part of health screening and that we continue to advocate for increased access to culturally and linguistically competent medical care for those living with HIV/AIDS", stated Dennis deLeon, President, Latino Commission on AIDS. "Any of us can emulate the great example set by Miss Universe 2008 Dayana Mendoza, who today is serving as a role model for young Latina women by getting testing for HIV."

"As Miss Universe 2008, I support knowing your HIV status and will continue working on increasing HIV/AIDS awareness by focusing on women's health and reproductive rights. As a 22 year old woman, I am particularly invested in supporting young women and educating them about the growing threat of the AIDS epidemic," stated Miss Univ
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SOURCE Latino Commission on AIDS
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