May 19th is National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day and it’s such an important day. This day was officially observed back in 2005 and rightfully so. This specific day was founded by Banyan Tree Project and their goal is to encourage Asian and Pacific Islanders to get tested for HIV.
Did you know that between 2010 and 2014, the Asian population grew by 11%, three times faster than the total U.S. population. That being said, HIV diagnosis increased around 36 percent in that same amount of time. There
fore, the U.S. Asian population accounted for about 2 percent of the total HIV diagnoses.
In 2015, Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders made up one of the highest rates of HIV diagnoses within the U.S. With that information, one in four Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders are unaware that they are living with HIV. Many Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders revoke talking about sex and this impedes on HIV prevention.
Being aware and informed deserves the utmost importance when it comes to HIV/AIDS. Being conscious of when/why someone needs to be tested for HIV cannot only save their life but many others. Having HIV is nothing to be ashamed about. Many people who have contracted the virus, live long and healthy lives with the right medications and treatments. Help end this epidemic by contacting your local Northwest Health Services clinic.
All clinics at Northwest Health Services are offering rapid screening. Results can be available in approximately 15 minutes. For more information about HIV testing or HIV Prevention services, please feel free to contact Janet Miller, Prevention Specialist, Northwest Health Services @ 816-901-1034.