Washington Post (06.24.07) - Tuesday, June 26, 2007
In concert with National HIV Testing Day on Wednesday, a
statewide campaign is using Spanish radio to encourage
Hispanics in Northern Virginia to get tested and know their
In Northern Virginia, Hispanics comprise 11 percent of the
population reported to have HIV, a "higher percentage than any
other part of the state," said Kathryn Hafford, acting
director of the state health department's division of disease
prevention. "If you watch the trend over the years, the
numbers have been consistently going up. The numbers are
small, just a few cases each year, but we are seeing it going
The $50,000 campaign seeks to further the idea that people who
are not in high-risk groups should still get tested. "There
are many people out there who are HIV-infected and don't know
it. The prediction is one in four people with HIV doesn't know
it. That translates to 7,000 Virginians," said Lucy Caldwell,
state health department spokesperson.
The statewide effort is focusing on urban areas and
minorities. "Historically, these populations have more
difficult access to care and are underserved," said Hafford.
"And they are disproportionately affected by HIV in comparison
to the white population."
On Wednesday, numerous organizations in Northern Virginia will
offer free HIV testing.