UNM Truman Health Services is joining New Mexico agencies and advocacy groups to mark Oct. 15 as National Latino AIDS Awareness Day, kicking off three days of activities to promote HIV/AIDS education.

This year’s events – all free and open to the public – are organized around a theme: "To End AIDS, Commit to Act" (Para acabar con el sida, comprométete a actuar). All are alcohol and drug-free. Free rapid HIV testing will be available.

The events are:

Oct. 15 –“HIV 101” panel discussion in the UNM Student Union Ballroom Atrium, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Panel speakers are either HIV-positive or have been affected by HIV. Light snacks will be provided.

Oct. 16 – Queenceañera for LGBTQ youth, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., at N'MPower, 136 Washington St. SE, Suite E. There will be a contest to crown Ms. Queenceañera and Mr. Kingceañeara.

Oct. 17 – Culture Fest, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the South Valley Multi-Purpose Senior Center, 2008 Larrazolo Rd. SW. This event will feature local Hispanic/Latino acts I.Q., Alta Moni, DJ M. Martinez, La Academia de Dolores, Baracutanga, Aspen-Santa Fe Ballet, Mr. Kingceañera and Ms. Queenceañera and other entertainers. Free food will be available.

National Latino AIDS Awareness Day was established in 2003 to address the impact of HIV and AIDS on Hispanic/Latino communities. It was designated for Oct. 15, the last day of Hispanic Heritage Month.

Sponsoring organizations include UNM Truman Health Services, New Mexico Department of Health, First Nations, N'MPower, Men of Color Association, El Centro De La Raza, New Mexico Department of Health Office of Equality, New Mexico Public Education Department, UNM LGBTQ Resource Center, LGBTQ+ CNM Group., New Mexico AIDS Education and Training Center, Team Friendly, New Mexico Forum for Youth in the Community and UNM Out Queer Grads.

The specialized medical team at UNM Truman Health Services is trained to provide continuous comprehensive primary health care and wrap-around services for people living with HIV/AIDS.

For more information, please contact Michelle Wood at MLWood@unmmg.org or UNM Truman Health Services Outreach at 925-7286.