Congressional Caucuses Observe National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

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WASHINGTON – To commemorate National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (May 19), the chairs of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) and the Congressional HIV/AIDS Caucus released the following statements:

Rep. Judy Chu (D-Pasadena), CAPAC chair: “As we observe National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, we must do more to tackle the cultural stigma and break the silence surrounding HIV and AIDS in 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. Even worse, 1 in 5 Asians living with HIV in the United States do not know that they have it. We must do more to promote culturally and linguistically appropriate health care, encourage our communities to get tested, and prioritize saving lives over saving face.”

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Oakland), 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. 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.”

Rep. Ami Bera (D-Sacramento), CAPAC Healthcare Task Force co-chair: “As co-chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus Health Taskforce, I am glad to support an HIV/AIDS awareness day that specifically addresses the Asian Pacific Islander community. One of our biggest challenges in fighting HIV/AIDS in the AAPI community is stigma that prevents people in our communities from coming forward to seek treatment, and we fight back against that stigma by raising awareness. As a doctor, I believe it is imperative that we commit to funding the medical research that will one day cure this disease.”

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