National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day and the Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center Promotes PrEP for A&PI and MSM Populations

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National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day-- Held on May 19--and the Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center--is promoting how Pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, can protect A&PIs—particularly gay or bisexual men and transgender women at higher risk for transmission—from contracting HIV.

The federally-recognized National Asian & Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, observed annually on May 19, was established in 2005 to fight the HIV epidemic in Asian and Pacific Islander (A&PI) communities nationwide. Organizations across the country promote HIV education, testing, and treatment at community events.

HIV status awareness is a major challenge within Asian and Pacific Islander communities. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), A&PIs are the least likely of all racial groups to get tested for HIV; Approximately 25 percent of A&PI adults and adolescents living with HIV are unaware of their HIV status. Pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, can protect A&PIs—particularly gay or bisexual men and transgender women at higher risk for transmission—from contracting HIV.

“PrEP is a powerful new prevention tool in the fight against HIV,” says Sapna Mysoor, the associate director of community development at Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center. “On May 19th, we encourage A&PIs to talk to their health care providers about this option to find out if it’s right for you.”

PrEP (sold under the name Truvada) is a single pill taken daily that has been shown to reduce the risk of HIV transmission by more than 90% when taken as directed.

Asian & Pacific Islander community organizations are encouraged to spread the word about the use of PrEP and other prevention measures by participating in the 2016 observance of National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness day on May 19th.

Please visit http://www.banyantreeproject.org for more information on how to get involved.
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About Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center
Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center (San Francisco, CA) is a people of color and LGBTQ-led federally qualified health center with 29 years of experience in fighting the HIV epidemic at local, regional, and national levels. We transform lives by advancing health, wellness, and equality. We believe everyone deserves to be healthy and needs access to the highest-quality health care. We foster resilience, strength, connection, health, and wellness for all communities. To us, health care will always be grounded in social justice. For press materials or more information please visit http://www.apiwellness.org

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Stephanie Goss
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Banyan Tree Project
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