Dr. Demetre Daskalakis to Receive Esperanza (Hope) Award at Cielo Gala 2016

NEW YORK, April 20, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, Assistant Commissioner of the Bureau of HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, will receive the 2016 Esperanza (Hope) Award, Friday May 6 at the Latino Commission on AIDS' Annual Cielo Gala 2016, the Latino Commission on AIDS (the Commission) announced today.

"Dr. Daskalakis has been a fearless warrior in the battle against HIV and AIDS, and a defender of public health throughout his career," said Guillermo Chacón, the Commission's President. "His dedication and initiative to engage patients and those at risk of HIV are personal qualities that give us hope that we will overcome and end the AIDS epidemic."

The Esperanza (Hope) Award was created by the Commission in 1996 to recognize leaders in medical research, public health, and treatment dedicated to stemming the tide of HIV and AIDS. Past recipients of the Esperanza Award have included Dr. Helen Rodriguez-Trias, Dr. Juan Bailey, Dr. Angela Diaz, Dr. Roberto Aymat, and others.

"I am overwhelmed by the honor of receiving the Esperanza Award from the Latino Commission on AIDS," said honoree Dr. Daskalakis. "The work of the Commission embodies the core of my philosophy of how we will end AIDS in New York City, New York State, and beyond: with love and respect. Hand in hand with our community, represented by the Commission, we are all warriors that will prove that love is the most potent antiretroviral! I look forward to sharing this beautiful night with you and am humbled and inspired by this great honor!"

The Cielo Gala will take place on Friday May 6th at Cipriani Wall Street, New York City, located at 55 Wall Street. The evening will consist of a cocktail reception and silent auction, followed by dinner and an awards presentation. Live entertainment will be provided by the Grammy-winning Spanish Harlem Orchestra led by Oscar Hernandez.

The event theme – Designing a World without AIDS - speaks to critical health issues, along with the organization's efforts to confront stigma and isolation, and in particular to highlight the harsh reality of the disproportionate impact of HIV and AIDS faced by some of our most vulnerable populations.

In addition to providing an opportunity to assess the status of HIV and AIDS in the Latino community, this year's event will launch the Hispanic Health Network, an initiative of the Commission that will help address other relevant health issues that affect the Latino community.

Sponsorship opportunities are still available. For more information on Cielo Gala, please contact Natasha Quirch, Director of Community Development at NQuirch@latinoaids.org or 212-675-3288 x316, or visit: www.cielolatino.org.

For more information about the Latino Commission on AIDS, visit www.latinoaids.org.

About the Latino Commission on AIDS

The Latino Commission on AIDS (Commission) is a nonprofit organization founded in 1990 dedicated to meet the health challenges and addressing the impact of HIV/AIDS, viral Hepatitis, STIs. The Commission is the leading organization coordinating National Hispanic Hepatitis Awareness Day (May 15), National Latino AIDS Awareness Day (October 15), Latinos and the Deep South, and other prevention, research, capacity building, and advocacy programs across the United States and its territories. The Latino Commission is the founder of the Hispanic Health Network, dedicated to eliminate health disparities in our communities.

CONTACT: Karmina L. Fonseca 212-707-1337 x20 klfonseca@arcos-ny.comSource:Latino Commission on AIDS