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Asian & Pacific Islanders HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

Two men hugging on the beach

May 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.

Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders (NHOPI) make up 0.2% of the U.S. population and account for a very small percentage of new HIV diagnoses in the United States—less than 1% in 2015, the majority of which were in gay and bisexual men (78% [62]). However, HIV affects NHOPI in ways that are not always apparent. Despite a 22% decline in HIV diagnoses from 2010-2014, NHOPI had the third-highest rate of HIV diagnoses (14.1 per 1 00,000 people) by race/ethnicity in the United States.

Asians make up 6% of the U.S. population and accounted for 2% (959) of the 40,040 new HIV diagnoses in this country and six dependent areas in 2015. Of Asians diagnosed with HIV in 2015, 86% were men and 14% were women; gay and bisexual men accounted for 89% of HIV diagnoses among all Asian men in 2015.

I'm Doing It

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.

Woman hugging man

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. 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.

What Can You Do?