CAPAC Members Observe National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

May 18, 2018 Issues: Healthcare

WASHINGTON, D.C. – May 19th is designated as National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. To commemorate the day, Members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) released the following statements:

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

“As we observe National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, we must continue our work to shatter the silence and cultural stigma around HIV and AIDS within our communities. Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders face higher HIV infection rates than white Americans and are one of the few racial groups that have experienced a continued increase in new HIV infections despite an overall decrease nationwide. We also know that from 2010 to 2014, HIV diagnoses for Asian gay and bisexual men in the United States increased by nearly 50%. And that’s exacerbated by stigmas in the community that can prevent sharing accurate information or discourage seeking help.

“That is why we must focus on minority health and address the unique barriers to care impacting the AAPI community. We must ensure that no community is left behind as we work toward ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic.”

Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13), Congressional HIV/AIDS Caucus Co-Chair and CAPAC Healthcare Task Force Co-Chair:

"National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day serves as a vital reminder that serious health disparities exist in the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. As a member of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus and co-chair of the CAPAC Health Care Task Force, I am working with my colleagues to ensure that all Americans receive culturally and linguistically-competent health services. Through the Health Equity and Accountability Act, which I will be introducing later this month, Congress can take real action to address health disparities and ensure all Americans have access to care, for HIV and other chronic illnesses. While there is more work to be done, I am continuously impressed by the work of organizations in the East Bay and around the country to close these gaps in health services. We must ensure that no community is left behind in the fight for an AIDS-free generation.”

Congressman Joe Crowley (NY-14), Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus:

“National Asian and Pacific HIV/AIDS Awareness Day allows for us to remember those we have lost to this devastating disease and break the silence about HIV/AIDS in the AAPI community. We have made tremendous progress, but much more needs to be done to prevent, raise awareness, and eliminate this disease.”

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (NY-12):

“The Asian American population is the fastest growing in the United States, but HIV infections in the Asian community are increasing at an even greater rate. The increase of HIV infections among Asian Americans is even more startling when compared to national HIV infection trends, which have been decreasing overall. During Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we are all called to recognize and celebrate the contributions AAPIs have made to our history and country. On AAPI HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, we also acknowledge the challenges facing AAPIs so that we can work together and find solutions to these problems.”

Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52):

“May 19 marks National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. It is a day to speak up and eliminate stigma. I join my colleagues in the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus to call for continued attention and to commit to working towards a cure to this disease.”

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The Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) is comprised of Members of Congress of Asian and Pacific Islander descent and Members who have a strong dedication to promoting the well-being of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. Currently chaired by Congresswoman Judy Chu, CAPAC has been addressing the needs of the AAPI community in all areas of American life since it was founded in 1994.