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Cielo is the largest annual fundraiser for the continued fight against HIV and AIDS in the Hispanic/Latinx community and supports the Latino Commission on AIDS' mission to lead health advocacy, and health equity efforts, promote disease education, incentivize model prevention programs for high-risk communities, and build positive health intervention and behavioral capacity in our community partners and people we serve. COVID-19 shed light on the vast health disparities that affect communities of color and LGBTQ+ populations, which has served to reignite our passion to fight for a stigma-free future with health access and care for all. We are especially focused this year on raising funds to enhance our Zero Campaign and programs to help close the devastating healthcare gaps, where people of color and LGBTQ+ communities are disproportionately affected.
Past Cielo Gala's have highlighted the amazing work of various Latino Commission on AIDS programs, such as our OASIS: Latino LGBTS Wellness Center, where we work to build a community of support for all Latino LGBTS in NYC, and our Latinos in the South program, which builds local leadership, develops coalitions, enhances knowledge and cultural competency, and spurs actions to advocate for our communities in the southern US states. This year we will highlight our Zero Homophobia, Zero Transphobia campaign.
The Latino Commission on AIDS was created in response to the critical, unmet need for HIV prevention and care for Latinos, a coalition of Latino leaders founded the agency in 1990. The Commission is dedicated to resolving the HIV crisis in the Latino community, where social stigma, poverty, language barriers, immigration status fears, and access to care, deter testing and increase the infection rate and through its extensive network works to mobilize an effective Latino community response to the health crisis created by HIV & AIDS.
The Commission's public health model encompasses five core and complementary services, provided in English and Spanish by a culturally diverse bilingual staff of health, education and business professionals across more than 40 State and Puerto Rico. Our five core services are access to healthcare, health promotion and prevention, capacity building, health advocacy and community mobilization, and health research. Our core values that guide our work are diversity, justice, equity, integrity, commitment, excellence, and passion.