DECEMBER 02, 2010
As part of the U.S. government’s campaign to reduce the stigma of AIDS, millions of taxpayer dollars have been allocated to groups that educate minorities about the deadly virus, including a nonprofit dedicated to helping illegal immigrant farm workers.
In fact, the Obama Administration launched a special AIDS Hispanic/Latino Leadership Initiative to strengthen the reach—through public funding—of Latino organizations that increase awareness and knowledge in those communities. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently allocated $16 million to the “leadership effort” that is assured to “reach groups hardest hit” by the disease.
Among the recipients is Farm Worker Justice, a
The sister groups have long pushed the U.S. government to provide public funding to research and combat AIDS in the illegal immigrant farm worker community, which is estimated to be around 2 million. Isolation and status as recent immigrants contribute to “low acculturation” that influences AIDS risk factors such as multiple sex partners for Latino men, lack of health services and elevated rates of alcohol and substance abuse, according to a statement issued by the La Raza groups this week for World AIDS Day.
Farm workers have also been hit hard by AIDS because they are among the “most vulnerable and marginalized groups in U.S. society,” the statement says, and most live in poverty, have limited education, substandard housing and limited access to healthcare. Oh, and there’s an “increased likelihood” that they may be employed as “sex workers.” That certainly increases the chances of contracting the virus as well as a number of other diseases.
In any case, Uncle Sam’s generous donation to bring AIDS awareness to illegal alien farm workers is part of President Obama’s commitment to combating any shame or discrimination that may be associated with the devastating disease. During his World AIDS Day speech this week, the commander-in-chief assured the government has a role to play in reducing AIDS stigma. That’s why he repealed a 16-year-old federal law banning immigration and travel to the U.S. by foreigners with AIDS.
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