In response to the critical, unmet need for HIV prevention and care for Latinos, a coalition of Latino leaders founded the agency in 1990. The Commission realizes its mission by spearheading health advocacy for Latinos, promoting HIV education, developing model prevention programs for high-risk communities, and by building capacity in community organizations. Through its extensive network of member organizations and community leaders, the Commission works to mobilize an effective Latino community response to the health crisis created by HIV/AIDS. Since 1995, the Commission has steadily expanded its services outside New York to meet the emerging needs of Latino communities in more than 40 States and Puerto Rico.
Since its inception, the Commission has been directed by Dennis de Leon, a tireless advocate and national leader of the Latino community struggle to address the epidemic until his passing in December 2009. Guillermo Chacón, former Vice-President of the Latino Commission on AIDS and a national leader on Latinos and HIV/AIDS issues was named President by the Board of Directors in November 2009.
Guillermo Chacón is the President of the Latino Commission on AIDS. He is recognized for his great ability to build networks, coalitions and mobilize Latino communities on the policy and program levels. Among many other achievements, he has pioneered the First National Latino/Hispanic AIDS Leadership Summit, among national partners in the United States in January 2008 – a national agenda setting process that shaped a comprehensive response to the AIDS crisis among Hispanic communities. On June 5, 2012, Guillermo Chacón was nominated by Governor Andrew Cuomo and confirmed by the New York State Senate to serve in the Minority Health Council until May 3, 2017. Mr. Chacon also serves as a board member for The Salvadorean American National Network, Salud Latina/Latino Health in Chicago, Solidaridad Humana in Long Island and the New York Immigration Coalition in New York State.