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

May 17, 2019 Issues: Healthcare

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

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

“National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is a vital reminder of the health disparities within the Asian American and Pacific Islander community that are often compounded by language and cultural barriers. In recent years, the number of HIV diagnoses increased by 42% for Asian Americans and 51% for Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders. Unfortunately, many AAPIs living with HIV in the United States still do not know they have it. We must continue to raise awareness and ensure more AAPIs get tested as we work towards a cure for this disease.”

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

“We must continue to work 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.”

Congressman Ami Bera (CA-07), CAPAC Health Task Force Co-Chair:

“As Co-Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus Health Task Force, I am glad to support an HIV/AIDS awareness day that focuses on the Asian Pacific Islander Community. As a doctor, I believe it is imperative that we continue to fund medical research, as we are on the brink of curing this disease. But we also continue to see increases in HIV diagnoses among Asians in the United States, and this awareness day is important to encourage more testing, treatment, and prevention initiatives in Asian American communities.”

Congressman Ed Case (HI-01):

“According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Asian Americans have seen a decrease in numbers of HIV infections in part as a result of heightened awareness and prevention. But the same cannot be said of Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders, who are among the highest estimated rate of total HIV diagnoses in the United States by race or ethnicity. The efforts of programs like the Banyan Tree Project, with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are leading the way in countering these trends and making further progress. But we all need to continue to raise awareness of the impact of HIV/AIDS, and to help those who are living and coping with the disease.”

Congressman Gil Cisneros (CA-39):

“Today, we observe National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day to remind ourselves of the progress and work that lies ahead in our goal to shatter the silence and cultural stigma surrounding HIV and AIDS within the AAPI community. Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders continue to see increases in the number of new HIV infections despite a decrease overall in the national population as stigmas in the community towards the LGBTQ community and seeking community health resources persists. We cannot allow this trend to continue. No community will be left behind as we work towards eliminating the HIV/AIDS epidemic.”

Congressman Ro Khanna (CA-17):

“The HIV/AIDS epidemic did not discriminate on the basis of race. Far too many in the AAPI community have encountered disparities in the level of care they receive. Today, we remember the many AAPI individuals across this country we have lost to this heartbreaking disease, and continue strong in our fight for a cure.”

Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52):

“We must end the shame of HIV/AIDS in the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. Open conversation and awareness can end the stigma surrounding HIV, and I will continue to work with my CAPAC colleagues to make increase prevention, treatment, care so that one day we can find a cure for HIV/AIDS.”

Congresswoman Katherine Clark (MA-05):

“This National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, we acknowledge the significant health disparities within the AAPI community and the work we can do together to ensure all Americans get the care they need and deserve. I am committed to working with my fellow Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) members to engage in a conversation about how we can destigmatize HIV/AIDS, encourage people to seek treatment, and ensure that no community is left behind.”

###

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.