AIDS United Honors National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

AIDS United joins organizations around the country marking National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day and shining a spotlight on the impact of the HIV epidemic in API communities across the United States.

Founded in 2005 by the Banyan Project, #NAPIHAAD is a vital opportunity to address stigma surrounding HIV in API communities amid the backdrop of National Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HIV diagnoses among Asian Americans increased 42% between 2010 and 2016. A large portion of those diagnoses were among gay and bisexual Asian men.

Furthermore, CDC data states that API people living with HIV have the longest delay in HIV diagnoses when compared with all other race and ethnicity groups — a shocking 4.2 years.

Access to quality, affirming HIV testing, treatment and care that is free of stigma is critical for all communities, but especially for API communities for whom there is often a lack of culturally responsive resources and opportunities for care.

Language barriers, stigma and lack of representation — or even misrepresentation — all are obstacles to API people receiving the care that they need. Too often providers and organizations lose sight of the diversity of experiences within API communities, treating the community as a monolith rather than a mosaic of cultures.

We must start talking about prevention options like condoms and PrEP and ensure that API communities have access to testing, treatment and care. Interventions must be created based on the needs and stories of API communities to better meet API people where they are at in their journeys.

Above all, we must continue to share the stories and voices of our API siblings living with HIV and ensure that their voices are represented in our work to end the epidemic.

As we mark National Asian Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, tell us how you will join the fight to stop HIV together.