SOURCE: AIDS Services Foundation Orange County

AIDS Services Foundation Orange County

October 13, 2016 12:00 ET

AIDS Services Foundation Orange County Sponsors Mr. SOMOS OC Event

Pageant Hosted for Latino Gay Men to Educate the LGBTQ Community on HIV Prevention and Safe Sex Practices

IRVINE, CA and SANTA ANA, CA--(Marketwired - Oct 13, 2016) - AIDS Services Foundation Orange County (ASF) -- a nonprofit AIDS service organization that has helped more than 7,000 people living with HIV and AIDS in Orange County since 1985 -- is proud to announce the Mr. SOMOS OC competition, which will take place at 6 p.m. on Saturday, October 22 at The Rose Center Theatre located at 14140 All American Way, Westminster, 92683.

Intended to educate the Orange County LGBTQ community about HIV prevention and safe sex practices, the free event funded by the Health Care Agency of Orange County and directed and coordinated by Mario Casas, program coordinator at the health education department at ASF, will feature 13 courageous Latino gay men, who will compete to become Mr. SOMOS OC, a positive role model for the LGBTQ youth in Orange County.

"My hope is that Mr. SOMOS OC will be able to empower the LGBTQ youth out there to practice safer sex and to promote rapid HIV testing," says Casas. "The event will also be a lot of fun, and I'm looking forward to everyone having a good time!"

In addition to the competition, Jacquie Campos Rivera, daughter of Jenni Rivera, will be at the event to sing her newest single; and Gustavo Gambarotti and Alejandra Guzman's official impersonator, Brenda "La Guzman," will be performing.

"We are so lucky to have three talented Latino artists, who believe in our cause, come and participate for free," continues Casas. "They want to unite with the SOMOS OC Program and ASF in our efforts to stop the spread of HIV."

The SOMOS OC program is an empowerment project designed specifically to address the needs of young gay/bisexual Latino men ages 18-29. Young gay/bisexual men continue to engage in high rates of unprotected sex and are becoming infected with HIV at high rates; and prevention planning councils across the country consistently identify the demographic as one of the highest priority groups for HIV prevention efforts.

For more than 30 years, ASF has been fighting to prevent the spread of HIV through various programs, services and events throughout Orange County. RADAR, an initiative funded by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), was recently launched by ASF in response to the HIV crisis among Hispanic/Latino men. The project's goal is to increase HIV testing and linkage to medical care, facilitation of patient navigation and distribution of condoms.

For more information about the Mr. SOMOS OC event or to learn more about ASF and how to get involved, please visit the ASF website at http://www.ocasf.org/.

AIDS Services Foundation Orange County (ASF) is a nonprofit AIDS service organization that has helped more than 8,000 people living with HIV disease in Orange County since 1985. ASF serves the local community impacted by HIV and AIDS by providing food, transportation, housing, emergency financial assistance, counseling, education and preventative services. You can learn more about the organization by visiting www.ocasf.org.

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