By Neal Hitch
2:35 PM PST, December 19, 2011
“We can't stop people from having sex, but we can tell them about the risk of having unprotected sex. Wear a condom.” That is the message that Lalita Hermosillo is neither afraid nor ashamed to say. And though small in stature, she carries a big message.
Hermosillo is an HIV case manager at Clinicas de Salud del Pueblo in Brawley. At first that seems like a strange career choice. That is, until you hear her story. “I had children very early,” she says as she sits in her office inside a busy community clinic. “I had my first child at 16 and my second at 18. I left El Centro when I was 18 and moved to San Diego to attend a trade school in order to become a medial assistant. I attended the Concord Career Institute and worked for a few years in the medical field at a local community clinic.”
“I loved the fast pace of the community clinic. The pace just kept you going and going. You were always doing something.”
Hermosillo was a young mom, however, and it became difficult to keep the fast pace at work going while juggling the fast pace of being a single parent. In 2005, she moved back to the Imperial Valley so that she could be close to the support of her extended family.
“Because I am a single mother, my family helps a lot,” she says. “I work long hours, and I could not do what I do here without their support.”
Read more about Lalita Hermosillo in the November/December 2011 edition of Valley Women Magazine in print or our online E-Edition.
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