The Northern Colorado AIDS Project will offer free rapid HIV testing today for Latino AIDS Awareness Day.
Amanda Koubek-Keller, an administrative intern for the Northern Colorado AIDS project, said the goal is to encourage Latinos to learn their HIV status, take steps to prevent HIV transmission and build bridges to foster relationships between Latinos in our community.
The group also hopes to build better relationships between Latinos within the service area and to raise awareness of the threat of HIV.
The projects theme this year, â€œSave a Life, It May be your Own. Get Tested for HIV,â€ is meant to speak to people who donâ€™t realize how important HIV testing is.
Koubek-Keller said in an e-mail to the Collegian that Hispanics and Latinos progress to AIDS faster than any other racial or ethnic group, with 42 percent being diagnosed with AIDS within 12 months after learning of their positive HIV status.
â€œBy promoting free testing for those who identify as Latino, we can help people learn their HIV status and take steps to reduce their risks for contracting HIV and, for those that test positive, to begin medical treatments and care,â€ Koubek-Keller said in the same e-mail.
This event, which runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., also hopes to break down barriers that may prevent people from seeking testing and treatment.
Staff writer Kari Pills can be reached at news.collegian.com.