National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

May 19 is National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.

It is a day to break the silence and end the shame about HIV and AIDS in Asian and Pacific Islander communities, and encourage individuals to get tested for HIV. First observed in 2005, this observance day was founded by the Banyan Tree Project, with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS in Asian and Pacific Islander communities, help prevent HIV, and help those who are living with this disease.

National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness DayBetween 2010 and 2014, the Asian population in the United States grew around 11 percent, more than three times as fast as the total U.S. population. During the same period, the number of Asians receiving an HIV diagnosis increased by 36 percent, driven primarily by an increase in HIV diagnosis among Asian gay and bisexual men. In 2015, Asians accounted for 2 percent (950) of the estimated 40,040 new HIV infections in the United States. About 1 in 5 Asians living with HIV do not know they have it. Among Asians, gay and bisexual men are most affected by HIV.

Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders (NHOPI) accounted for less than 1 percent of  the estimated new HIV infections in the United States in 2015. However, in 2015 NHOPI had the third highest estimated rate of total HIV diagnoses (14.1 per 100,000 people) in the United States by race/ethnicity. One in four NHOPI living with HIV are unaware of their infection. NHOPI cultural taboos on talking about sex may interfere with HIV prevention.

Source: CDC

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Conversations with AIDS.gov — Lance Toma

Lance Toma, executive director of the Asian and Pacific Islander Wellness Center talks about the importance of the National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.

Listen to personal stories from Asian and Pacific Islanders living with or affected by HIV.