Vida/SIDA is pleased to announce the relaunch of Generation L

Vida/SIDA is pleased to announce the relaunch of Generation L

by Gustavo Varela
We are happy to be relaunching Generation L, our Mpowerment program for LGBTQ youth, as part of a new grant we received, the L-Act. We will be having our first safer sex workshop of the new fiscal year on Wednesday March 30th, 2016 from 5pm to 8pm at the L-ACT office located at 2736 W. Division St.All youth are welcomed to attend the workshop but only those who qualify will receive the $20 Target gift cards as incentive for attending. In order to qualify, the youth must be between the ages of 13 through 24, gay or bisexual man, or a transgender woman, and must identify as Latino/a. This is intended to be a fun workshop that is youth friendly in a safe space.
Any questions contact Gustavo Varela or Pedro Mercado at Vida/SIDA or call 773-278-6737
Coronation of Paseo Boricua Cacica Queen 2015

Coronation of Paseo Boricua Cacica Queen 2015

By Ricardo Jiménez, Vida/SIDA

On Friday, June 19, 2015, The Puerto Rican Cultural Center and the Trans Latin@ Coalition of Chicago sponsored the Annual Coronation of the Paseo Boricua Cacica Queen.  In a pack audience with hundreds of attendance and only standing room available, this year’s Paseo Boricua Cacica Queen 2015 is from Juana Diaz, Puerto Rico, and her name is Yeveah Altieri. Since a very early age, the newly crowned Queen of 2015, Altieri was devoted to health sciences and mathematics and its benefits to society. Currently,  Altieri holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Biomedical Sciences, a Master’s Degree in Public Health Administration and is pursuing a Doctorate’s Degree in Epidemiology at Ponce School of Medicine. In addition, Altieri has created doll pageants and sold them where all the funds collected are used for domestic violence victims recovery and educate communities to understand the plight of how domestic violence affect the nation of Puerto Rico. Altieri will be one brilliant and beautiful ambassador to the Puerto Rican Cultural Center and Trans Latin@ Coalition of Chicago

Lastly, Janet Namer affectingly know, as “Madrina” was crown Honorary Queen of Paseo Boricua 2015.  Madrina has been a vocal advocate of Trans Latin@ in Chicago.

New partnership equals greater opportunities

New partnership equals greater opportunities

By Jonathan Contreras, Director, Integrated Paseo

On January 1st 2015, the Puerto Rican Cultural Center – Vida/SIDA together with Norwegian American Hospital, launched the Integrated PASEO program. This partnership has allowed us to provide wraparound services for HIV treatment, STI & Hepatitis C care, substance abuse & mental health counseling, for clients within the Chicagoland area. Our bilingual Spanish-English team creates personalized health plans for each client including specialized services referrals, to instill proper level of care and treatment. For more information, contact Jonathan Contreras, Director at 773-772-5455.

I Commit to End HIV -a National Latino AIDS Awareness Day in Chicago

I Commit to End HIV -a National Latino AIDS Awareness Day in Chicago

By Jorge Cestou, PhD ABD, MBA, Director of Programs and Services

The I Commit to End HIV -a National Latino AIDS Awareness Day in Chicago event facilitated by Vida/SIDA was a success.  An intergenerational group including youth, adults, and older adults attended the event. The majority of the audience was of Latino origin but it included African Americans, Caucasians, and South East Asians. Participants included community residents and HIV field practitioners.

Attendees were welcomed through a red carpet in which they were guided to sign the symbolic canvas titled I Commit to End HIV. They were also photographed in red carpet fashion. Sample pictures attached.

Juan Calderon, Chief Operating Officer of the Puerto Rican Cultural Center along with Sanford Gaylord of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Region V, welcomed the audience.

The event included a HIV/AIDS panel discussion titled ‘Factors Affecting the Community, Collaboration, Culture and Agencies’ Services.’ The panelists included Edwin Corbin-Gutierrez (Center on Halsted), Martin Gonzalez-Rojas (CALOR-Anixter), Luis Lira (Project Vida), Carlos Orengo (Howard Brown Health Center), and Maritxa Vidal (Vida/SIDA). Ayla Karamustafa of Public Health Institute of Metropolitan Chicago moderated the panel discussion. The panelists were extremely eloquent and cultural sensitive in presenting data and experiences of their delivery of services to the Latino community in the Chicago metro area.

Participants were given a packet of information that contained facts about HIV/AIDS in the Latino community. The audience was entertained by drag performers Milani Ninja and Jailyn Ninja and enjoyed delicious Latino food and water.

Partner agencies displayed materials and provided safe-sex kits at their tables of information. Agencies delivering these services included Vida/SIDA, CALOR, Lurie Children’s Hospital, and Region V.

The event offered free confidential HIV testing, provided by Vida/SIDA, CALOR, and Lurie Children’s Hospital.