AIDS SERVICES: Orange County Program Offers Haven for Latinos
The Los Angeles Times this week profiled an AIDS service organization in Los Angeles County aimed at reaching HIV-positive Latinos. The AIDS Services Foundation Orange County sponsors "Noches de Feria" (Fair Nights), and the "Bienestar" (Wellbeing) program, both of which are weekly social activities. Bienestar Director Oscar de la O said, "All of our programming celebrates our culture. In prevention (of HIV) and delivery of services, you have to take our identity into consideration. The notion of familia is extremely important and needs to be incorporated." Latinos comprise one-third of Los Angeles County's estimated 14,725 AIDS patients. AIDS Service volunteer Raul Ramirez, who founded Noches de Feria, said, "It's very sensitive. (The Latino community) is very family- and religion- oriented. People with HIV and AIDS are afraid to say what they have." The Times reports that "there is no talk of AIDS during Noches de Feria, and ... fliers announcing the fairs promote them as monthly Friday night family socials, without mentioning they are sponsored by AIDS services." Also, the events' locations are not publicized in the media because organizers are "afraid those attending might be harassed" (Bold, 7/6).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.