Asian & Pacific Islanders HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
May 19 is National Asian & Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Dayexternal icon. 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, who make up 6% of the U.S. population, accounted for 2% of the 38,739 new HIV diagnoses in the U.S. and six dependent areas in 2017. Of Asians who received an HIV diagnosis in 2017, 87% were men and 13% were women; gay and bisexual men (not including those who inject drugs) accounted for 91% of HIV diagnoses among all Asian men. Unfortunately, the number of HIV diagnoses among Asians in the U.S. (50 states and D.C.) increased 42% overall and 52% among Asian gay and bisexual men (including those who inject drugs) from 2010 to 2016. These increases suggest that more HIV testing, treatment and prevention efforts are needed within Asian communities.
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 and dependent areas—less than 1% in 2017. HIV diagnoses decreased 16% among NHOPI overall in the U.S. (50 states and D.C.) from 2010 to 2016; there was a 20% decrease among men while diagnoses remained stable among women.
This observance day was founded by the Banyan Tree Projectexternal icon, with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to end the silence and shame surrounding HIV and AIDS in Asian and Pacific Islander communities, help prevent HIV, and help those who have this disease. True stories of courage and compassion about people in the community who have 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.
Under the proposed Ending the HIV Epidemic initiativeexternal icon, there is much hope that new HIV diagnoses can be dramatically reduced in the U.S. in the next decade. With today’s powerful tools, we can prevent HIV and help people with HIV stay healthy.
What Can You Do?
- Learn more about HIV by reading CDC’s HIV Basics Q&As.
- Get tested for HIV. To find a testing location near you, visit the GetTested website, or text your ZIP Code to KNOWIT (566948).
- Talk with your healthcare provider about your risks for HIV.
- Learn about ways to prevent HIV—such as using condoms and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)—and share this information with family and friends.
- Volunteer at a local organization that serves people with HIV.
- Stand up against stigma, racism, and other forms of discrimination associated with HIV and AIDS.
- Learn more from Asian and Pacific Islander health organizations, including:
- Asian Pacific AIDS Intervention Teamexternal icon
- Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forumexternal icon
- Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Centerexternal icon
- Hawai’i Health and Harm Reduction Centerexternal icon
- Massachusetts Asian & Externalexternal icon Pacific Islanders for Healthexternal icon
What Is CDC Doing?
CDC and its partners are taking a high-impact prevention approach to maximize the effectiveness of current HIV prevention methods. Here are some ways CDC is working:
- Provides funding for state and local health departments for HIV surveillance and prevention programs across the United States.
- Awarded a new cooperative agreement in 2019 to strengthen the capacity and improve the performance of the nation’s HIV prevention workforce.
- Awarded about $42 million per year to community organizations under the flagship community-based organization cooperative agreement. This award directs resources to support the delivery of effective HIV prevention strategies to people at greatest risk. Special Service for Groups/APAITexternal icon is funded under this effort.
- Developed the publication, Effective HIV Surveillance Among Asian Americans and Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders, pdf icon[319 KB] to provide recommendations for HIV surveillance programs in states with high concentrations of Asians and NHOPIs.
- Raises awareness through its Let’s Stop HIV Together (formerly Act Against AIDS) campaigns, including:
- Doing It, a national HIV testing and prevention campaign that encourages all adults to know their HIV status and protect themselves and their community by making HIV testing a part of their regular health routine;
- Start Talking. Stop HIV., which helps gay and bisexual men communicate about testing and a range of HIV prevention strategies, and
- HIV Treatment Works, which shows how people with HIV have overcome barriers to stay in care and provides resources on how to live well with HIV.