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Mexican Consulate in Houston hosts World AIDS Day vigil

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On Monday Dec 2, the Consulate General of Mexico in Houston and the Fundacion Lationoamericana de Accion Social (FLAS) celebrated World AIDS Day with a candle vigil minute of silence and catered tamales. The program was conducted in Spanish. The Spanish version of the date is Dia Mundial de la Lucha contre el Sida.

Although AIDS is now treatable and preventable, it remains one of the most destructive epidemics in recorded history. World Aids Day, started originally in the US in August 1987, has become a part of the UNAIDS program on AIDS awareness. It has has been proclaimed every year since 1997.

Elia Chino, Founder and Executive Director of FLAS, spoke to over 2 dozen people gathered at the Mexican Consulate General. She summarized the magnitude of the problem, stating that 33 million people worldwide suffer from AIDS symptoms. Of that number about 22,000 are believed to be living in the Houston area. The purpose of today's celebration is to promote a greater awareness of AIDS and the importance of getting tested, and if necessary,treated in a timely manner. A theme of FLAS' education campaign is “Knowledge is Power.” Millions of people worldwide continue to become infected with HIV and unknowingly pass it on to other sexual partners.

In her Spansh and English interviews, Ms. Chino emphasized that FLAS and other organizations offer free, confidential, and anonymous AIDS testing. Results are available in 20 minutes. Interested persons can learn more by calling FLAS at (713)772-2366 or visiting the website at www.flashinc.org

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