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Celebrities, Business Leaders, Elected Officials and Advocates Unite at 20th Anniversary of the Latino Commission on AIDS at Cielo Latino 2010.

Carmen Dominicci, NBC/Telemundo Anchor, installed as International Ambassador of the Latino Commission on AIDS

NEW YORK -- Hollywood and Broadway stars joined forces with news anchors, entertainers, Latino health advocates, business leaders, community members and elected officials in supporting the 20th anniversary of the Latino Commission at its annual gala, Cielo Latino. The largest fundraiser of its kind in the nation, this year's event was a glowing success, raising funds for the Commission's programs and initiatives to prevent HIV/AIDS in the Latino community and link people to care. More than any other organization in the United States, the Commission has been the rallying voice of Latinos, sounding the alarm that Hispanics and communities of color are being disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS.

"Any twentieth anniversary is cause for celebration," stated Guillermo Chacon, President of the Latino Commission on AIDS. "But twenty years ago, we thought that there would be a cure by now. We didn't think we would still need to be here, raising money, raising awareness. Health care reform will bring new challenges to our communities and the Commission will continue working at the local, regional and national level to ensure that our communities are not left behind. We will continue the journey to reach a world without AIDS."

The honorees of the evening included Viiv Healthcare, recipient of the Business Leadership Award for the creation of a new company whose sole focus is HIV/AIDS with GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer. Lillian Rodriguez Lopez, President of the Hispanic Federation was honored with the Companera Award for her leadership in building the LUCES Coalition which promotes partnerships and collaboration in response to HIV/AIDS and Kenny Ortega, Film Director and Producer was awarded the Ilka Award for his ongoing support of HIV prevention and care programs.

"My commitment remains as long as AIDS continues to threaten lives, culture and the human potential," stated Ortega. "I stand in awe of the many individuals and organizations that have lead the fight by their investment and example including my friend Elizabeth Taylor and Ilka Tanya Payan. I am happy to support the work of the Latino Commission on AIDS in helping to increase awareness, testing, treatment and other needed services within the Hispanic community."

The event was hosted by CNN anchor and special correspondent Soledad O'Brien and attended by among others, actress Lupe Ontiveros, actress and Academy Award Nominee Rosie Perez, actor, writer and Tony Award winner Lin-Manuel Miranda, Miss Universe 2009 Stefania Fernandez, Miss Universe 2008 Dayana Mendoza, MTV3 Host Carlos Santos, and NBC/Telemundo anchor Carmen Dominicci who was installed as International Ambassador of the Latino Commission on AIDS.

Humberto Cruz, Director New York State AIDS Institute, and Rosie Perez announced the creation of the Dennis deLeon Voz de Compromiso Award named posthumously after the man who served as President of the Commission for 15 years and dedicated his life to raising awareness and addressing HIV/AIDS.

The event also featured entertainment by Latin Grammy Award nominated musicians Yerbabuena and DJ Prophet. The pharmaceutical Merck was the Corporate Chair of the event.

ABOUT THE LATINO COMMISSION ON AIDS

The Latino Commission on AIDS (Commission) is a nonprofit membership organization founded in 1990 dedicated to fighting the spread of HIV/AIDS in the Latino/Hispanic communities. The Commission is the leading national Latino AIDS organization coordinating National Latino AIDS Awareness Day and other prevention and advocacy programs across the United States and its territories. For more information visit: www.latinoaids.org or www.nlaad.org.

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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1U2NY
Date:May 12, 2010
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