Transdiaspora Network

Transdiaspora Network Celebrates the National Latino AIDS Awareness Day

Community and Youth Leadership: portraying prevention through a different lens.


Brooklyn, NY -- (ReleaseWire) -- 10/14/2010 -- Transdiaspora Network (TDN), a non-profit organization that promotes HIV prevention through Caribbean cultural expressions, is holding a Social Photography Exhibition and small gathering this October 15th, 2010, to celebrate the National Latino AIDS Awareness Day (NLAAD). This invitation-only event will showcase 11 photographs taken by high school students in the Brooklyn community, allowing them to share their perspectives on HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention.

As part of our gathering, special guests include Melissa Ramirez, Director of NLAAD; Angela Stoehr, Country Program Coordinator for World Vision Deutschland’s Latin America and Caribbean Section; and Jose “Catire” Torres, guitarist of the Venezuelan band Los Amigos Invisibles; among other invitees from the local community and the social service sector.

According to the U.S Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), "while Hispanics represent approximately 13 percent of the U.S. population, they account for an estimated 18 percent of people living with HIV in the U.S." Furthermore, over 85,000 Hispanics with AIDS have died since this epidemic began. In response to the devastating impact that HIV/AIDS has on Hispanics, October 15th was established as the National Latino AIDS Awareness Day, and TDN is hosting this event as a way of promoting HIV prevention through art and photography.

“Harnessing the full potential of our own very powerful cultural resources may well provide the more lasting, more comprehensive, and ultimately more sustainable approach to HIV prevention that we urgently need,” said TDN Founder and Executive Director Ariel Rojas.

Drawing from the Caribbean culture, TDN creates a body of HIV prevention knowledge that is dynamic and transferable. Our interest in the issue stems from the desire to go beyond the current biomedical and individualist approach to HIV prevention, and to encompass a more holistic strategy through dance, music, storytelling and photography. According to a survey we conducted of Brooklyn residents in March 2008, 50% of those whose education had incorporated cultural heritage described their knowledge of HIV prevention as excellent compared to 27.7% of those whose education did not incorporate cultural heritage at all.