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 NEW YORK, March 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Rivera & Rivera Communications has been retained by the Hispanic AIDS Forum (HAF) to handle its public relations efforts. Rivera & Rivera's newly established Public Relations Division, headed by Nilda L. Pimentel, will spearhead HAF's fundraising efforts, and public information campaigns designed to raise general awareness on AIDS.
 The Hispanic AIDS Forum is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1985 and incorporated in the State of New York in 1987. Directed by Miguelina I. Maldonado, CSW, HAF was established by a group of Latino health and human service professionals and leaders to develop a Latino response to the escalating incidence of AIDS in the Hispanic community. Since its inception, HAF has been at the forefront at providing AIDS education and shaping a comprehensive and focused response to combat this epidemic in the Latino community.
 HAF, the first and largest Latino organization solely devoted to the AIDS epidemic, has grown from an all volunteer advocacy group to a professionally staffed educational and direct service agency with over 40 employees. The Hispanic AIDS Forum provides a wide range of direct services to Latinos infected with the HIV virus and people with AIDS, as well as to their loved ones. HAF also has significantly expanded its operations in the last two years. In April 1991 HAF opened a new center in Jackson Heights, Queens, followed by another one in the Mott Haven/Hunts Point area of the South Bronx which opened its doors in August 1992.
 "The Hispanic AIDS Forum has found the unique mix of marketing, advertising and Public Relations savvy in Rivera & Rivera Communications," said Ms. Maldonado, who has been the Hispanic AIDS Forum's Executive Director for the last four years. "And, most importantly, they understand the Hispanic market because they are Latinos and because they stay in touch with their community. As we approach our seventh anniversary, and as AIDS continues to take a toll in our community, it is more important than ever to get our message across in a clear and culturally relevant manner," she added.
 Although Latinos comprise approximately 10 percent of the United States population, as a group they represent 16 percent of the cumulative reported AIDS cases nationwide. In Puerto Rico, where the population is just over 3 million inhabitants, there are over 7,000 cumulative cases of AIDS. As of June 30, 1992, New York City also recorded 41,598 cumulative AIDS cases. Nearly 12,000 of them were in the Hispanic community. While Latinos represent 24 percent of the New York City population, they are expected to comprise 34 percent of newly reported cases. AIDS has hit the Northeast and Puerto Rico harder than any other areas of the country.
 "We are honored to welcome the Hispanic AIDS Forum as the first client of our newly established Public Relations Department. Rivera & Rivera will match HAF's commitment to combat the AIDS epidemic in Latino communities city-wide and at community level. To assist the Hispanic AIDS Forum with its important mission, we will develop aggressive fund- raising strategies and culturally relevant public awareness campaigns. We all know someone who has been affected by this epidemic. This is an issue close to us all," said Arnold E. Rivera, Rivera & Rivera's president and chief executive officer.
 "Our first project will be a full-color, 40-page AIDS supplement, written in English and Spanish, which will address various aspects of the AIDS epidemic in Latino communities. It will be both informative and educational. Over 400,000 copies of the supplement will be distributed via the New York Daily News in Latino neighborhoods throughout the New York area. A percentage of the ad revenues will be donated to the Hispanic AIDS Forum, the supplement's sponsor," informed Nilda L. Pimentel, Rivera & Rivera's director of Public Relations.
 Established in 1989, Rivera & Rivera is a full-service communications company targeting the Hispanic market in the areas of advertising, public relations, and promotions. The agency, which is headquartered in New York City, is 100 percent Hispanic-owned and operated.
 -0- 3/9/93
 /CONTACT: Nilda L. Pimentel, director of Public Relations of Rivera & Rivera Communications, Inc., 212-431-0101/

CO: Rivera & Rivera Communications ST: New York IN: SU:

LR-OS -- NY065 -- 4596 03/09/93 15:02 EST
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Date:Mar 9, 1993

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