Press Release: Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette Commemorates National Latinx Aids Awareness Day
In recognition of National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day, part of Hispanic Heritage Month, Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette is joining the national call to action for Latinxs to protect their health by getting tested and learning about HIV. National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day is a nationwide community mobilization campaign seeking to promote HIV testing and provide HIV prevention information and access to care among the Latinx community.
Statement from Mariah Galaviz, Vancouver Health Center Manager:
“Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette is one of the leading HIV testing providers in Oregon and Southwest Washington. We are proud to provide affordable, convenient HIV testing, prevention tools and information to all people — no matter what. We know that racism and anti-LGBTQ discrimination and stigma can be real barriers to HIV testing and prevention tools, leaving Latinxs, among other people, at greater risk of contracting HIV. Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette remains committed to working with the Latinx communities right here in Oregon and Southwest Washington to increase access to HIV education, prevention tools, testing and treatment.”
In 2018, Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette provided 73, 059 tests and treatments for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), of which 15,967 were HIV tests. Every one of its health centers provides HIV testing. Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette offers HIV prevention tools such as PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis), a daily pill that can help reduce transmission for people who are at high risk for HIV, as well as PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis), a series of pills taken after exposure to HIV that lowers chances of getting it.
Across the United States, many people of color and LGBTQ people are deeply impacted by an overwhelming lack of access to health care and health education services due to structural barriers. After promising declines in HIV among Latinos, in recent years, progress has stalled especially among Latino gay and bisexual men. One-quarter of new HIV infections in the United States occur among Latinos, and one-fifth of people with HIV in the United States are Latino.
Reducing HIV transmission rates takes a multipronged approach that can include sexually transmitted infections education, condom usage, increased access to PrEP and regular HIV testing. Planned Parenthood health centers are more likely than other safety-net family planning providers to offer HIV testing on site. Our health centers offer low-cost STI testing throughout the year, and our doors are open to everyone regardless of their income, insurance or immigration status.
Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette is expanding comprehensive HIV prevention and education efforts through a partnership with the Black AIDS Institute. This campaign will reach at-risk populations in Oregon and Southwest Washington and provide patients with the latest preventive tools and information, including PrEP.
Planned Parenthood also offers online tools that include information on HIV, a video series to help you have conversations about STIs, and a short online quiz to help you figure out if you should get tested for HIV and other STIs. For more information on where to get tested for HIV, visit PlannedParenthood.org.