May 19: National Asian & Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
On May 19, Asian & Pacific Islander (A&PI) communities across the U.S. and Pacific Island Jurisdictions will gather at over 25 events to acknowledge the impact of HIV on A&PIs, an often overlooked population at increasing risk for HIV. May 19, 2010, marks the 6th annual observance of National Asian & Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. This year’s theme is “Saving face can’t make you safe. Talk about HIV.”
Miguel Gomez from HIV.gov spoke to Lance Toma, Executive Director of the Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness CenterExit Disclaimer, about May 19:
The threat of HIV/AIDS continues to grow in the U.S., particularly in communities of color who collectively represent 70% of the national epidemic. The impact of the disease among A&PIs is alarming; the most recent data shows A&PI men and women have the highest percentage annual increase in new HIV infections, higher than any other racial or ethnic group. Similarly, HIV infection rates among A&PI youth are on the rise. Between 2001 and 2006, the number of HIV diagnoses among young A&PI gay men more than doubled. Despite this, over two thirds of A&PIs have never been tested for HIV.