Asian & Pacific Islanders HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

Two men hugging on the beach

May 19 is National Asian & Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.External 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. This year’s theme is “Love & Solidarity: Together PrEP, Testing and Treatment can end 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 2016. However, HIV affects NHOPI in ways that are not always apparent. Gay and bisexual men accounted for 65% (35) of HIV diagnoses among NHOPI in 2016, and HIV diagnoses increased 51% (from 55 to 83) among NHOPI overall from 2011 to 2015 in the United States and six dependent areas. In 2015, an estimated 1,100 NHOPI were living with HIV; 82% had received a diagnosis, and, as of 2014, 60% received HIV medical care, 43% were retained in care, and 50% had a suppressed viral load.

API Gay couple

Asians, who make up 6% of the U.S. population, accounted for 2% (970) of the 40,324 new HIV diagnoses in this country and six dependent areas in 2016. Of Asians who received an HIV diagnosis in 2016, 84% (825) were men and 15% (145) were women; gay and bisexual men accounted for 90% (740) of HIV diagnoses among all Asian men. In 2015, an estimated 15,800 Asians were living with HIV in the U.S.; 80% had received a diagnosis, and, as of 2014, 57% received HIV medical care, 46% were retained in care, and 51% had a suppressed viral load.

This observance day was founded by the  Banyan Tree ProjectExternal , 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 websiteExternal.  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 is CDC Doing?

CDC and its partners are pursuing a high-impact prevention  approach to maximize the effectiveness of current HIV prevention methods. CDC also

  • Provides support and technical assistance to health departments and community-based organizations to deliver prevention programs for NHOPI and Asians; and
  • Raises awareness through its 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;
    • Let’s Stop HIV Together, which raises HIV awareness and fights stigma among all Americans and provides many stories about people living with HIV; and
    • HIV Treatment Works, which highlights how men and women who are living with HIV have overcome barriers.
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.

What Can You Do?