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The Latino HIV Task Force and its community partners will offer free HIV tests in north, east and southwest Houston on October 15 as part of the annual National Latino AIDS Awareness Day. The three sites will offer the testing from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at these locations:

Baker-Ripley Neighborhood Center, 6500 Rookin Street

Ripley House Neighborhood Center, 4410 Navigation Blvd., and

Más Club, 8711 North Freeway (I-45).

Hispanics in Houston and Harris County represent 22 percent of the 19,243 HIV infections reported to the Houston Department of Health and Human Services (HDHHS) since 1999. They also make up 18 percent of the 27,696 local AIDS cases reported to the department since the start of the epidemic in 1981. The task force is comprised of health agencies and community-based organizations that administer HIV and AIDS prevention programs or medical treatment and various community organizations. HDHHS convened the task force in 2002 to educate and raise awareness of HIV, AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases among Hispanics.