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La Voz de Nuestros Lideres: Guadalupe Yanez, LULAC National Intern

Posted by Guadalupe Yanez on 10/21/2011 @ 02:50 PM

LULAC national intern Guadalupe Yanez reports on her findings at a recent Senate health hearing.

There is no doubt that just as our economy is suffering, so is almost every other social service program in our nation. One such program is health care and, while a controversial topic, it is at times that very controversy which impedes change or prevents discussion of any sort to occur. In order to develop a cohesive and educated environment to engage in health care dialogues, the Alliance for Health Reform organization, along with The Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, conducted a hearing. The hearing was organized to discuss not only the difficulties that health care has and is still encountering, but also to address the large percentage of the nation’s population that currently lacks health insurance.

Since 2010, 49.9 million people in the United States are living without health insurance, and that number is only increasing as time passes by. For the most part, the majority of those who are insured receive health care through their job or a family member’s job. Even in such cases, however, several other factors, such as the type of job or not being in the workforce at all, jeopardize an individual’s ability to receive health insurance. While the main reason for not having health insurance is affordability, geographic as well as certain profile characteristics tend to become key determinant factors as well. For instance, geographic factors that come into play are the nature of poverty, the nature of industry, and the availability of a safety net. Similarly, the characteristics of profile of the uninsured are family status, family income, and family work status. All in all, these characteristics are what ultimately describe the faces of the millions uninsured in our country.

While there are still changes to be made in our current health care system, there is an immediate need to develop not only an effective and comprehensive plan, but to also build the necessary relationships and strategies across all levels. Likewise, there is an effort to work towards a mutual goal: to provide affordable access to health care, especially for the millions that are currently uninsured. No individual, regardless of whom they are or where they come from, should be deprived of having medical insurance due to their lack of economic or financial stability. Therefore, with the forming of cooperative and effective alliances, new ideas and solutions will be able to emerge insofar as we work around the same objective of providing health care to the citizens of this nation. By doing so, we will be investing not only in the citizens’ health and overall well-being, but also in the betterment of this country as a whole.

For more information about LULAC's health initiatives, please visit the Latinos Living Healthy website.

The League of United Latin American Citizens, the country's oldest and largest civil rights organization, recruits highly talented and dedicated interns year-round to work with our national office in Washington D.C. Interns can choose to collaborate with any one of the following departments: policy, programs, communications, membership, special events, development, fiscal or executive. For more information, or to apply for a LULAC internship, click here to learn more!

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National Latino AIDS Awareness Day

Posted by Melissa Faith Ramirez on 10/14/2011 @ 07:00 PM

In the United States, the HIV/AIDS epidemic has adversely affected Hispanic/Latino communities. Hispanics/Latinos progress to AIDS faster than any other racial or ethnic group with 42% being diagnosed with AIDS within 12 months after learning of their positive HIV status compared to 34% late diagnosis among white non-Hispanic and 35% among blacks. And according to CDC 20% of new HIV infections are Latinos/Hispanics.

Every October 15th, since 2003, National Latino AIDS Awareness Day (NLAAD) is commemorated in response to the devastating impact HIV/AIDS has on Hispanic/Latino communities across the country. It was established to draw attention to the critical role HIV testing and prevention education plays in stemming the spread of HIV among Hispanics/Latinos. It is a day during Hispanic heritage month that organizations around the country use to promote and sponsor activities that respond to the state of HIV/AIDS among Hispanics/Latinos in their specific communities. Every locality will organize an activity that will address the epidemic in their communities and make the public aware of what must be done to prevent new infections. Additionally, advocating for and ensuring proper care for those who are living with HIV/AIDS is also a major component of awareness activities. Each participating locality is responsible for raising funds needed to sponsor their own activity. NLAAD is the only grassroots nationwide social marketing campaign focused on promoting HIV/AIDS as it impacts Hispanic/Latino communities in the U.S.

This year’s theme, “Latinos Unite! Let’s stay Healthy! Get Tested for HIV”/ “Latinos Unidos y Saludables! Hazte la prueba del VIH” speaks to the importance of us uniting in order to promote HIV testing to the Latino/Hispanic community and to, one day, erradícating AIDS.

For more information on National Latino AIDS Awareness Day and NLAAD events taking place in your area, please visit .

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