CAPAC Marks National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

May 19, 2020 Issues: Healthcare

Washington, D.C. – Today, Members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) released the following statements on National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, which is observed on May 19th each year:

Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-27), CAPAC Chair:

“For too long, there has been a cultural stigma and silence around HIV and AIDS in the AAPI community. Unfortunately, failure to address the issue doesn’t make it go away or bring back the far too many lives that have been lost. Instead, it puts lives at risk. In fact, AAPIs living with HIV have the longest delay in HIV diagnoses out of all racial and ethnic groups, and many avoid seeking testing and treatment due to language barriers and cultural stigma. On this National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, it is more important than ever that we do our part to fight this stigma and save lives. Together, we can raise awareness and encourage greater HIV testing prevention, and treatment in our communities.”

Congresswoman Grace Meng (NY-06), CAPAC First Vice Chair:

“On this annual observance of National Asian & Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, we reflect upon the impact that HIV/AIDS has had on the AAPI community, all of the lives we have lost due to HIV/AIDS, and the work ahead to confront the underlying inadequacies of our healthcare system to address health disparities that disproportionately impact AAPIs and other underserved populations. Due to language and socioeconomic barriers, and stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS, many AAPIs are not receiving diagnoses and treatment for HIV/AIDS. Today, we know that HIV treatment is effective, especially for Asian Americans who show higher rates than the average of viral suppression with treatment. We must stand together to ensure that our communities receive quality healthcare, no matter your race, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status.”

Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13), CAPAC Health Task Force Co-Chair:

“To beat HIV and AIDS, we must keep fighting to ensure that culturally and linguistically-competent education, counseling, testing and care are available to all – and National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day serves as a vital reminder of that work,” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee, co-chair and co-founder of the Congressional HIV/AIDS Caucus. “As CAPAC's Health Task Force co-chair, I will continue to work with my colleagues to ensure no community is left behind in the fight for an AIDS-free generation.”

Congresswoman Susie Lee (NV-03):

“National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is a reminder that the fight against HIV/AIDS must be inclusive of everyone, regardless of race, language, or identity. The AAPI community is diverse in its cultures and languages. We must continue to work to ensure that resources reflect this diversity as we strive to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS in all communities. As a member of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, I will continue to work with my colleagues to ensure that we reach true equity in detecting and treating HIV/AIDS.”

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