Asian & Pacific Islanders Acknowledge Impact of HIV on May 19th, National
Asian & Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
Asian & Pacific Islander (A&PI) communities will gather together at over 25 events throughout
the U.S. and Pacific Island Jurisdictions to commemorate the 6th annual National Asian &
Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day on May 19th. Despite popular misconceptions that
A&PIs are "low risk" for HIV, A&PIs have the highest percentage increases in new HIV
infections--higher than any other ethnic group in the U.S.
San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) May 12, 2010 -- On May 19th, 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 19th, 2010 marks the 6th annual
observance of National Asian & Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.
At the events, the Banyan Tree Project will premiere a new social marketing campaign and public service
announcement, "Saving face can't make you safe. Talk about HIV." Saving face is a common cultural concept for
many A&PIs, where the individual seeks to protect the family or community from shame or public disgrace. In
practice, "saving face" can prevent people from talking about sexual health or HIV, leading to low HIV testing
rates, misconceptions about HIV transmission, a lack of knowledge about safer sex practices and ultimately,
increased HIV risk. The Banyan Tree Project urges A&PIs to have the courage to talk about HIV in order to
create healthy A&PI communities.
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, though
less-publicized than that of Blacks and Latinos. 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,