The Latino Commission on AIDS (LCOA) has produced an outstanding new resource for HIV service providers. Created with funding support from Merck & Co., “Sharing Stories, Creating Hope” contains seven bilingual Spanish/English videos and a facilitator’s guide. The goal is to spark discussions about overcoming barriers to effective HIV care.

sharing_stories.jpgI had the pleasure of attending a briefing on this resource during the 2012 United States Conference on AIDS in Las Vegas. LCOA president Guillermo Chachon (pictured above) moderated the presentation.

The content of the videos includes understanding your diagnosis, navigating care, building support networks, strengthening communication, owning your treatment and words of hope. They cover the spectrum of how providers cannot only improve care but facilitate wellness for Latinos with HIV, as well as how patients can advocate on their own behalf.

What struck me about the videos is how genuine they came across. And that’s easier said than done. The Latinos in the videos were real people. They were depicted in real Latino neighborhoods. They used colloquial language. The videos showed restraint by not making the stories into telenovelas, but instead presenting the stories simply and honestly.

Go to for more information.