The annual Miss Bienestar pageant celebrates the achievements of Trans-Latinx participants in Bienestar’s Transgéneros Unidas programs with a focus on individuals who have shown a dedication to personal and community empowerment. The participants showcased their knowledge on issues such as social justice and equity, HIV prevention, leadership, and how they and others can be agents of positive change as transgender women. Photos by Sophia Garcia.
Bienestar participated in the annual Pride parade in Hollywood on June 14th, 2023.
Our annual commemoration of World AIDS DAY was held at the Ukrainian Cultural Center on December 1st, 2023. This event recognizes and honors the friends, family, and community lost to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and the critical work community-based organizations have conducted for the past 30+ years in the face of systemic medical inequity.
Latin Factory highlights Latinx and LGBTQ+ excellence through various art forms across multiple mediums. We showcase our culture, history, diversity, and future dreams through LA-based fashion, dance, art, and much more. All proceeds from this event support Bienestar’s mission and life-saving programs.
11-29-21: Press Release_ Unidos_World AIDS Day
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 29th, 2021
Danny Deza, Communications Director Office:(866) 590-6411 ext. 106
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Mobile: 714-287-9572
Bienestar Human Services to commemorate World AIDS Day on the 40th year of the AIDS epidemic
The premier Latinx and LGBTQ + health & wellness organization presents a commemorative event, UNIDOS, to raise awareness and address the stigma of the AIDS epidemic.
LOS ANGELES (December 1, 2021) Bienestar will host its 28th annual World AIDS Day event UNIDOS Ending the HIV Epidemic: “Equitable Access” on December 1st, 2021 on the 40th year since AIDS was officially reported. This year UNIDOS will be a celebration of life and a remembrance of the friends and family we’ve lost to the AIDS epidemic told through performances and speeches on Latinx and LGBTQ+ vibrancy and culture.
“While there are fewer deaths today, our communities still continue to get infected. The purpose of this event is to promote awareness and to reduce HIV/AIDS stigma,” said Robert Contreras, Bienestar CEO. “We must continue to foster community and promote HIV prevention to combat the disproportionately high rights of new HIV infections among the Latinx and LGBTQ + community.”
According to the 2020 HIV Surveillance Report from the Division of HIV and STD Programs at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, the greatest disparities in awareness of HIV-positive status were among young Latinx people, and transgender women had the highest HIV positivity rate across all populations disproportionately affecting transgender women of color.
UNIDOS is dedicated to raising HIV awareness in the Latinx LGBTQ+ community. This year’s efforts include a photo exhibit on the 40-year history of the HIV epidemic, a memorial tree where guests can write a name of a loved one who has passed, educational performances by staff, and a speech from Bienestar CEO Robert Contreas.
“It is important we gather safely to remind our community that we are still here for them,” said Contreras. “The statistics have never been in our favor but we continue to persevere and support each other unconditionally – like family.”
On July 26th, 2021, Bienestar hosted a Call to Action webinar on LA County’s soaring STD cases in communities of color. This urgent topic is something we hope to continue to spotlight with community leaders and members and raise awareness until health equity is met.
As Bienestar Human Services CEO Robert Contreras stated at our Call to Action:
- Why can’t we imagine and make real the next phase of STD Action where we work with government and science to finally achieve breakthrough STD vaccines, and make them widely available and free of charge to patients, just like COVID vaccines?
- Can we imagine market reforms that make syphilis treatment Bicillin, which was first patented in the 1950s and which requires two to three treatments, available for a few dollars per injection instead of $200 per shot?
- When we imagine overall health for local communities of color, can we imagine a world where STDs are not surrounded by stigma and fear but instead are routinely screened, detected and treated, or even vaccinated into oblivion?
In case you missed it, feel free to watch our webinar below where you can hear our CEO’s speech first hand, alongside an outstanding presentation on recent data by Dr. Sonali Kulkarni, the Medical Director in the Division of HIV and STD Programs (DHSP) at the Los Angeles County (LAC) Department of Public Health. Afterward, Bienestar client Juan Carlos Plasecenia shared his heartfelt testimony on the importance of providing culturally relevant services when working with underserved communities, and how this has personally impacted his life.
Also, click here to access Dr. Kulkarni’s slides.
In the next few days, we will be launching a social media campaign spotlighting the current state of STD rates in the United States and LA County. Also, in the near future, we will be working with community partners on a Town Hall to further our cause in finding a solution and reverse the effects of the STD epidemic.
Take care and stay safe,
Bienestar Human Services