National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
It is a day to break the silence and end the shame about HIV and AIDS in Asian and Pacific Islander communities, and encourage individuals to get tested for HIV. First observed in 2005, this observance day was founded by the Banyan Tree Project, with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS in Asian and Pacific Islander communities, help prevent HIV, and help those who are living with this disease.
Between 2010 and 2014, the Asian population in the United States grew around 11 percent, more than three times as fast as the total U.S. population. During the same period, the number of Asians receiving an HIV diagnosis increased by 36 percent, driven primarily by an increase in HIV diagnosis among Asian gay and bisexual men. In 2015, Asians accounted for 2 percent (950) of the estimated 40,040 new HIV infections in the United States. About 1 in 5 Asians living with HIV do not know they have it. Among Asians, gay and bisexual men are most affected by HIV.
Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders (NHOPI) accounted for less than 1 percent of the estimated new HIV infections in the United States in 2015. However, in 2015 NHOPI had the third highest estimated rate of total HIV diagnoses (14.1 per 100,000 people) in the United States by race/ethnicity. One in four NHOPI living with HIV are unaware of their infection. NHOPI cultural taboos on talking about sex may interfere with HIV prevention.
Learn and Share
- Fact sheet: HIV Infection Among Asians in the United States and Dependent Areas
- Fact sheet: HIV Among Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders
- CDC publication: Effective HIV Surveillance among Asian Americans and Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders (PDF, 319 KB)
- Learn more from Asian and Pacific Island health organizations, including:
Conversations with HIV.gov — Lance Toma
Lance Toma, executive director of the Asian and Pacific Islander Wellness Center talks about the importance of the National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.
Listen to personal stories from Asian and Pacific Islanders living with or affected by HIV.
What You Can Do
- Get Educated. Learn more about HIV/AIDS. Knowing about HIV/AIDS empowers individuals and communities to act accordingly. Learn about, practice and share safer-sex tips with those you love and your sexual partners.
- Get Tested. Knowing your HIV status helps keep you and others safe. To find a testing site near you, call 1 (800) CDC-INFO (232-4636), visit hivtest.cdc.gov or text your ZIP code to KNOW IT (566948).
- Get Treated. Seek out local resources and organizations that will assist you in accessing treatment and information.
- Get Involved. Locally, there are community based organizations, events and activities for you to get involved with. Talk about HIV/AIDS in your community to reduce stigma and raise awareness.