May 25, 2023

Damien Center hosts volleyball tournament to increase HIV awareness in Latino community


The center wants to encourage HIV testing in the community, so they require participants in the volleyball tournament to be tested by Damien Center. Testing will be offered onsite free of charge. - Provided by Damien Center

The center wants to encourage HIV testing in the community, so they require participants in the volleyball tournament to be tested by Damien Center. Testing will be offered onsite free of charge.

Provided by Damien Center

Damien Center in Indianapolis will host a volleyball tournament on Saturday, May 27, to increase HIV awareness in the Hispanic and Latino communities. The event will offer HIV testing and foster conversations about the disease.

In the U.S., more than 25 percent of new HIV infections occur among Hispanic and Latino people, who represent just 19 percent of the U.S. population.

That disproportionately high rate of infection is caused by systemic issues including “racism, discrimination, xenophobia, HIV-related stigma, homophobia, economic disparities, a fragmented healthcare system, and other longstanding barriers,” according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Language barriers and lack of access to sexual health education can also limit conversations about HIV.  

“We want to start the conversations around HIV,” said Wendy Catalan Ruano, the HIV, Outreach, Latino and Hispanic Advocacy program service navigator at Damien Center. 

She said the volleyball tournament would be an event that community members attend with their families. She hopes this would foster conversations among families too and help destigmatize HIV and sexual health conversations.

“We have to build trust and I think that through the initiatives that we want to form here in the next couple of months, we'll be able to rebuild that trust.” 

The center wants to encourage HIV testing in the community, so they require participants in the volleyball tournament to be tested by Damien Center. Testing will be offered onsite free of charge.

The tournament will be held at the Community Spaces of Englewood at 23 N. Rural Street. Registration opens at 2:00 p.m.. Games start at 4:00 p.m. and final games begin at 10 a.m. on Sunday. The center also plans to host a soccer tournament in July.


HIV test appointments can be made on the Damien Center’s website or by calling 317-632-0123.

Contact WFYI health reporter Darian Benson at dbenson@wfyi.org. Follow on Twitter: @helloimdarian.</

Support independent journalism today. You rely on WFYI to stay informed, and we depend on you to make our work possible. Donate to power our nonprofit reporting today. Give now.

 

Related News

All-girls research team captures eclipse for NASA
17-year-old to be charged as adult in connection with downtown mass shooting
Newsroom live blog: The 2024 total solar eclipse