National HIV / AIDS Awareness Day in Asia and the Pacific Islands 2020

Tuesday, May 19 marks National HIV / AIDS Awareness Day in Asia and the Pacific Islands (NAPIHAAD) 2020. Created by the Banyan Tree Project, an API Wellness project, the day is an opportunity to highlight how HIV uniquely affects these populations.

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of Asian Americans in the United States testing positive for HIV increased by 42% between 2010 and 2016. This was mainly due to diagnoses among gay and bi-Asian men. Overall, Asian Americans make up 6% of the population, but accounted for 2% of HIV diagnoses in 2017 in the country and dependent areas.

“Although the HIV / AIDS infection rates of IPA appear to be low [at only 6% of total infections], these statistics are misleading because a significant amount of underreporting is due to stigma, ”Lance Toma, managing director of API Wellness, told Legacy Community Health in that organization’s article on NAPIHAAD. “Stigma prevents people from discussing HIV / AIDS with their communities and providers, which is one reason APIs are the least likely race to be tested for HIV.

According to additional data from the CDC, Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders (NHOPIs) made up 0.2% of the U.S. population in 2018. Because of this small size, it’s more difficult to determine how HIV affects these groups. However, of the 37,968 new HIV cases that year, 68 belonged to NHOPI. This breaks down into 63 for men and 5 for women. The main mode of transmission was sexual contact between men. Overall, the CDC estimates that about 1.2 million people were living with HIV at the end of 2018 and of those, about 1,100 were NHOPI.

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