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The last day of Hispanic Heritage Month, October 15th, has been designated as National Latino AIDS Awareness Day (NLAAD). In 2003, NLAAD was established in response to the impact of HIV and AIDS on Hispanic/Latino communities nationwide, including the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. NLAAD is a national community mobilization and social marketing campaign that unites the Hispanic/Latino community in efforts to raise HIV awareness, promotion of HIV testing, prevention and education; in addition to other critical health issues such as Viral Hepatitis, Sexually Transmitted Infections and Tuberculosis. NLAAD is also a capacity building opportunity that aims to improve the ability of community based organizations, faith based congregations, and local health departments to provide HIV testing, prevention and education services through collaboration and partnership opportunities.
Since its establishment in 2003, National Latino AIDS Awareness Day has demonstrated to be a successful AIDS Awareness Day. In 2009, NLAAD solidified support from 420 partners who together, organized 350 events in 35 states across the United States, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Through a partnership with OraSure Technologies, 10,000 HIV testing kits were donated to HIV certified testing sites throughout the U.S. and NLAAD efforts were covered by more than 4,000 media outlets.