An overwhelming majority of Latino Hispanics in The Rio Grande Valley have many health issues.
But health professionals across the country want to highlight the impact of HIV and Hepatitis C and the access to care at a three day conference.
The National Latino HIV and Hepatitis C Conference at South Padre Island caught the attention of Guillermo Chacon, President of the Latino Commission on AIDS.
The Latino Commission on AIDS is a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to fighting the spread of HIV/AIDS in the Latino community, it is based in New York.
In response to the critical, unmet need for HIV prevention and care for Latinos, a coalition of Latino leaders founded the agency in 1990.
“HIV is an issue [in the Rio Grande Valley], Hepatitis C is an issue, but also the issues and the realities of the Valley and the border area are indivisible in terms of health issues to the whole nation,” Chacon said in an interview with News Center 23.
“I think this conference is a step in the right direction to highlight the particular health needs of everybody in the Valley, it’s important to do that and to respond the right way,” he said.
The Valley Aids Council is hosting the conference, which seeks to highlight and make more visible the realities of the Valley, and the border health issues that are crucial for the community, the state and the county to understand.
Over 400 people are attending the conference, including primary care physicians, nurse practitioners, professional counselors, testing staff and outreach workers.
News Center 23 will cover the conference on May 23.