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Asian & Pacific Islanders HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

Two men looking at smartphone and smilingMay 19 is National Asian & Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. It is a day to break the silence about HIV and AIDS in Asian and Pacific Islander communities and encourage individuals to get tested for HIV.

Asians and Pacific Islanders comprise a small percentage of all HIV infections in the United States. Asians accounted for 2% (1,047) of the estimated 44,784 new HIV diagnoses in the United States and 6 dependent areas in 2014. However, from 2005-2014, HIV diagnoses among Asian gay and bisexual men increased 101%.

Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders (NHOPI) accounted for less than 1% (58) of the estimated new HIV diagnoses in the United States in 2014. However, NHOPI had the fourth highest estimated rate of HIV diagnoses (10.6 per 100,000 people) in the United States by race/ethnicity. From 2005-20014, HIV diagnoses among NHOPI gay and bisexual men increased 27%.

Doing It, CDC's newest HIV testing campaign, features people sharing their stories about HIV testing in order to motivate all adults to get tested and know their status.

Everyone should know their HIV status. To find an HIV testing location near you, visit the GetTested Web site, or text your ZIP Code to KNOWIT (566948).

To raise awareness about the impact of HIV on these populations, National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is observed nationwide on May 19. The theme for 2016 is "Saving face can't make you safe. Talk about HIV—for me, for you, for everyone." This observance day was founded by the Banyan Tree Project, with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to end the silence and shame surrounding HIV and AIDS in Asian and Pacific Islander communities, help prevent HIV, and help those who are living with this disease. True stories of courage and compassion about people in the community who are living with HIV and empowered themselves by sharing their experiences are available on the Banyan Tree website.

The Banyan Tree Project is sponsored by the San Francisco-based Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center, in collaboration with partner organizations in Boston, Chicago, Honolulu, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C.

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