10 Reasons to Address HIV/AIDS in Asian-American and Pacific-Islander Communities
By Howard K. Koh, M.D., M.P.H.
May 19, 2014
This article was provided by AIDS.gov.
Each year on May 19, we take time to reflect on the impact of the HIV epidemic on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs). This includes listening to members of AAPI communities as they discuss how HIV has affected their lives and the lives of those they care about. Recently, my team asked our colleagues at The Banyan Tree Project, the group that sponsors National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, for their top reasons why it is so important to respond to HIV in AAPI communities. From their concerns, I offer this synthesis:
I would like to share some other health concerns affecting AAPIs at risk:
In spite of these challenges, many important advances can reduce the health burdens experienced in AAPI communities. These include the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' enhanced National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health and Health Care (CLAS Standards), the recent release of the updated Action Plan for the Prevention, Care and Treatment of Viral Hepatitis, and the increased access to quality health coverage offered through the Affordable Care Act.
As we commemorate National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, we continue to listen to the voices of those within AAPI communities. I encourage you to visit the Banyan Tree Project's Taking Root: Our Stories, Our Communities project, where AAPI living with or affected by HIV relate their personal stories. By listening to one another with compassion, we can break down the barriers of stigma and discrimination and work together to improve the lives of those living with and affected by this disease.
Howard K. Koh, M.D., M.P.H., is Assistant Secretary for Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
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