For Immediate Release
May 5, 2010
Stephanie Goss / (415) 292-3420 x 330
David Stupplebeen / (415) 292-3420 x 361
SOUTH BAY ASIAN & PACIFIC ISLANDER COMMUNITY HOSTS YOUTH EVENT COMMEMORATING THE 6TH ANNUAL NATIONAL ASIAN & PACIFIC ISLANDER HIV/AIDS AWARENESS DAY
San Jose, CA. On Wednesday, May 12th, 2010, the Asian & Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Collaborative of Santa Clara County (AHAC) will host a community event at San Jose City College to commemorate the 6th annual National Asian & Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. The event focuses on the HIV education and prevention needs of Asian & Pacific Islander (A&PI) youth, an often-overlooked population at increasing risk for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.
The threat of HIV/AIDS continues to grow in the U.S., particularly in communities of color who collectively represent 70% of the national epidemic. The impact of the disease among A&PIs is alarming; the most recent data shows A&PI men and women have the highest percentage annual increase in new HIV infections, higher than any other racial or ethnic group. Similarly, HIV infection rates among A&PI youth are on the rise. Between 2001 and 2006, the number of HIV diagnoses among young A&PI gay men more than doubled. Despite this, over two thirds of the A&PI community have never been tested for HIV. Clearly, there is a critical need to address HIV and STD risk amongst youth. Nearly half of all new HIV and other sexually-transmitted infections in the United States occur in people 25 years of age or younger, including within A&PI communities where high-risk behavior is often kept under wraps, even between peers.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the California State Office of AIDS, Santa Clara County had one of the top 10 highest rates for HIV and AIDS in California in 2007, where the number of people living with HIV/AIDS totaled 4,526 in the city of Santa Clara alone. The event—whose theme is “Saving face can’t make you safe. Talk about HIV”—will be located at San Jose City College in an effort to address this epidemic and engage A&PI youth in HIV/AIDS awareness and sexual health issues. According to Jane Dalugdugan, A&PI Wellness Center’s Community Development Program Manager and AHAC member, “Young people are very powerful agents of change and can make a huge impact on their peers and community. We want to encourage young A&PIs to talk about HIV with their friends and family.”
The event will feature entertainment, the Polynesian student dance group Hui ‘O Lokahi, guest speakers, free food, health information and on-site free, confidential and anonymous HIV testing. Janet Chang, the Director of Student Health Services, will also speak. Last year’s event attracted a large audience. Over 150 young people signed pledges to fight HIV stigma and more than 30 were tested for HIV, many for their first time.
This community event will be held on Wednesday, May 12th at San Jose City College, on the west side of the Student Center (2100 Moorpark Avenue, San Jose) from 11am – 1pm.
About the Asian Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Collaborative of Santa Clara County (AHAC)
Asian & Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Collaborative (AHAC) of Santa Clara County is a coalition of HIV prevention service providers in San Mateo and San Jose counties to combat the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Asian & Pacific Islander communities. Members include PACE Clinic, Asian Americans for Community Involvement (AACI), Health Trust, Kaiser Permanente, Santa Clara County Public Health Department, and Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center.
About Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center
A&PI Wellness Center’s mission is to educate, support, empower and advocate for Asian & Pacific Islander communities, particularly A&PIs living with or at risk for HIV/AIDS. With staff fluent in 20 languages, A&PI Wellness Center delivers programs regionally, statewide, and nationally, and collaborates with community-based organizations throughout the Asia Pacific Region. For press materials or more information please visit www.apiwellness.org.
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