Asian, Pacific Islander and Native American MSM
Nationally, Asian, Pacific Islander and Native American MSM have not experienced the high rates of infection occurring among African-American and Latino MSM. Reported AIDS incidence in 1999 for Native Americans was the same as that for whites, and the rate of new AIDS cases among Asian and Pacific Islander MSM was roughly half that for whites.(13)
National figures on HIV/AIDS rates may mask significant variations among regions and ages. Although Asian, Pacific Islander and Native Americans account for less than two percent of AIDS cases reported nationally among MSM between 1989 and 1998, these groups account for noteworthy percentages of cases in certain metropolitan areas.(24) Also, HIV/AIDS cases among Native Americans may be underestimated due to under-recognition of Native Americans as a race/ethnicity in surveillance systems.(36)
These populations also have unique characteristics that necessitate carefully targeted interventions. Asians and Pacific Islanders, for example, comprise a diverse range of cultures and countries of origin. Effective HIV prevention for Asian and Pacific Island immigrants often must address poverty, language barriers, and feelings of isolation. Prevention for Native American MSM often must take into account multiple barriers to healthy behavior, such as widespread poverty, substance abuse, and alienation from the culture at large. It will be important to both get ahead of the epidemic among Asian, Pacific Islander and Native American MSM while, at the same time, addressing the needs of other racial/ethnic groups where the epidemic is already raging.