05.19.16

CAPAC and the Congressional HIV/AIDS Caucus Observe National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

Washington, DC – Today is National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. Members of the Congressional HIV/AIDS Caucus and the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) released the following statements:

Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13), CAPAC Healthcare Task Force Co-Chair and Congressional HIV/AIDS Caucus 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. We must continue to work to ensure that culturally and linguistically-competent education, counseling, testing and care are available to all,” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee, co-chair and co-founder of the Congressional HIV/AIDS Caucus. “As CAPAC's Health Task Force co-chair, I am proud to be working with my colleagues to ensure that all Americans have access to high quality healthcare services. We must ensure that no community is left behind in the fight for an AIDS-free generation.”

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

“HIV/AIDS continues to be a serious concern within the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community, with AAPIs facing higher HIV infection rates than white Americans. In fact, AAPIs are one of the only racial groups that have experienced a continued increase in new HIV infections despite an overall decrease nationwide. Cultural stigma also remains high and prevents far too many from getting tested and seeking the care that they need. As we recognize National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, I encourage our AAPI communities to prioritize their health and get tested.”

Senator Mazie K. Hirono (HI):

“Defeating HIV/AIDS is only possible if we defeat the stigma that surrounds it. National Asian Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Testing Day is an opportunity to raise awareness of HIV testing and start conversations on HIV/AIDS awareness in communities across the country."

Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo (GU), CAPAC Vice Chair:

“Today our country observes National API HIV/AIDS Awareness Day to call attention to the stigma that hinders those in our community who suffer from HIV/AIDS from seeking preventative help or getting treatment. HIV/AIDS disproportionately impacts minority populations, especially the AAPI community. While we have made progress in raising awareness of the importance of getting tested and combating the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS, there is still much work to be done. CAPAC continues to work to address these challenges, and we will continue to advocate for policies that combat the spread of HIV/AIDS and care for those who life with these diseases.”

Congressman Mike Honda (CA-17), CAPAC Chair Emeritus:

“As a proud supporter of the National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day Resolution, I call on my brothers and sisters in our communities to break the silence about HIV and AIDS. Too many of our friends have lost the battle to this disease. Cultural stigmas and shame must no longer be barriers to an AIDS-free generation. We must freely talk about the disease, get tested, and help those who are living with this disease. Indeed, we must prioritize saving lives over saving face.”

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

“As a doctor and Co-Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus Health Taskforce, I understand the need for HIV/AIDS Awareness Day that specifically addresses the Asian and Pacific Islander community. For far too long the stigma of HIV/AIDS has prevented many from coming forward to receive treatment and support. I hope this day will raise awareness and encourage individuals to start a dialogue about these debilitating illnesses.”

Congressman Ted Lieu (CA-33):

“Today I join my colleagues in observing National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. While we continue to make great strides in combating HIV/AIDS, HIV diagnoses among the AAPI community have risen in recent years.  This year’s awareness day theme, “Saving face can’t make you safe. Talk about HIV – for me, for you, for everyone,” reminds us that it is time to end the shame, stigma, and discrimination associated with HIV and AIDS in the Asian and Pacific Islander communities.  I encourage everyone to get the facts about HIV and AIDS and talk to their health care provider about HIV risks and getting tested.”

Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52):

“More than 13,000 San Diegans – including over 500 members of the AAPI community – live with HIV and AIDS, but only 1 in 5 people know they are infected. We are closer than ever to defeating HIV/AIDS, so it’s critical that we increase awareness of these preventable diseases.  As we work towards a cure and ending the discrimination and cultural stigma associated with HIV/AIDS, I’m committed to helping those affected live fuller, healthier lives.”

Congressman Charles B. Rangel (NY-13):

“I am proud to support the goals of National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day to call attention to the epidemic throughout the nation. The physical, emotional, and psychological toll of HIV/AIDS has taken a devastating toll on minority communities. To strengthen organizations and religious leaders to break the silence and denial of this devastating disease, I introduced the Communities United with Religious Leaders for the Elimination of HIV/AIDS (CURE) Act. This bill will expand educational HIV/AIDS activities, develop policies for providing culturally relevant and sensitive treatment to individuals with HIV/AIDS, and incentivize payments to healthcare providers to implement HIV/AIDS testing. I will keep fighting for our families who are affected by HIV/AIDS because it takes a village to fight the disease.”

Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (CA-46):

“On National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, I am proud to help raise awareness about the impact of HIV and AIDS on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs). It’s critical that we empower individuals to share their experiences with HIV and AIDS, help end HIV stigma amongst AAPI communities, and motivate all individuals to test for HIV and AIDS. As a member of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, I’ll continue striving to represent the health and diverse interests of AAPI communities.”

###

Congresswoman Lee is a member of the Appropriations and Budget Committees, the Steering and Policy Committee, is a Senior Democratic Whip, former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and co-chair of the Progressive Caucus. She serves as chair of the Democrat Whip Task Force on Poverty, Income Inequality and Opportunity. 

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