AHF’s Latino Outreach and Understanding Division (LOUD) Launches National Campaign In Support of Latino Voter Registration, Political Empowerment to Address Health Disparities
LOS ANGELES (April 29, 2016) — With an eye towards the California primary on June 7th, the upcoming national political party conventions and the November presidential election, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) and its Latino Outreach and Understanding Division (LOUD) will host a march and rally on Thursday, May 5th from 4-6 PM in downtown Los Angeles to launch Vote 2 End H8, a new public awareness campaign and voter registration drive to draw attention to how hateful, anti-immigrant rhetoric by political candidates contributes to ongoing health disparities and disproportionate rates of HIV/AIDS in Latino communities.
The Vote 2 End H8 campaign will be launched with a March For Action on May 5th in the historic La Placita Olvera district of downtown Los Angeles with plans to expand to additional U.S. cities during the 2016 campaign season.
What: Vote 2 End H8 March For Action | #V2EH8
When: May 5th, 2016, 4 – 6PM
Meeting/ending point: La Placita Church, 535 N. Main St. Los Angeles, CA 90012
March route: Begin at La Placita Church, march to Edward R. Roybal Federal Building (via N. Los Angeles St. to E. Aliso St.) and back to La Placita Church.
March round-trip total distance: approx. 0.6 miles
- AIDS Healthcare Foundation staff, volunteers, mobilizers and community partners
- Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation
- Hector Torres, Chairman of LOUD
- BIENESTAR staff and volunteers
- Voto Latino
- Sergio C. Garcia, attorney
- Other guest speakers (TBD)
B-ROLL: Diverse marchers carrying “Vote 2 End H8” signs and banners; voter registration at La Placita Church before and after march; guest speakers and crowd at La Placita Church rally following the march.
“We’ve been bombarded by particularly nasty threats and fearmongering against Latinos in this presidential election season,” said AIDS Healthcare Foundation President Michael Weinstein. “When political candidates threaten to deport Latinos, they create a sense of fear that keeps Latino families in the shadows and away from seeking the care they need from the U.S. health care system. Despite the fact that Latinos are three times more likely to be infected with HIV than whites, they will not come forward for testing and treatment if they fear being turned over to immigration authorities. AHF has launched the Vote 2 End H8 campaign to call for people to demand that our political candidates and elected officials stop using language that incites fear or hatred against Latino and immigrant communities.”
Despite the fact that Latinos now make up 12% of the U.S. electorate—up from 10% in 2012—only 48% have voted in past elections, according to the Pew Research Center. In California, 28% of eligible voters are Latino, with one-third of eligible Latino voters in the state being between the ages of 18-29.
“In 2016, there will be a record 27 million Latinos who are eligible to vote in this year’s elections. Yet, fewer than half of all eligible Latino voters have voted in past presidential elections,” explains Hector Torres, Chairman of LOUD. “We see the Vote 2 End H8 campaign as a chance to start a national conversation and encourage eligible Latinos—especially U.S. born ‘millennials’ who make up the largest share of eligible Latino voters but who have historically turned out at the lowest rates—to exercise their right to vote. With this year’s elections playing a pivotal role in the direction of our country, Latinos must not be afraid to vote and choose leaders who are genuinely concerned about the well-being of our families and communities.”
Individuals or parties interested in joining the Vote 2 End H8 March For Action on May 5th can register here.
AHF’s Latino Outreach and Understanding Division (LOUD) stands in solidarity with Latino communities across the United States in response to the hateful anti-immigration rhetoric during the current election year. As a global public health organization we understand the intersection between personal health behaviors and public policy. Immigration status, access to healthcare, education opportunities, poverty, and HIV/AIDS still remain a threat to the well being of Latino communities across the nation. LOUD understands the urgency of initiating dialogue around these social determinants of health in an effort to finding a solution, not only within the realm of public health, but within the political arena as well.
In the United States, Latino communities are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS (SOURCE: CDC):
- Latinos comprise 21% of all new HIV infections, yet represent 16% of the total U.S. population.
- S.-born Latinos account for 48% of those living with HIV in the U.S., followed by Latinos born in Mexico (20%) and those born in Puerto Rico (15%).
- Over a third of Latinos (36%) were tested for HIV late in their illness – that is, diagnosed with AIDS within one year of testing positive; by comparison, 31% of Blacks and 32% of whites were tested late.
- 20% of all new HIV infections are among youth between ages 18-24.
- Latinos are 3 times more likely to be infected with HIV than that of their white counterparts.
- Approximately 1 in 50 Latinos will be diagnosed with HIV within their lifetime.
- 86% of Latinos living with HIV reside within 10 states; New York and California leading the list.