The Rising Rate of HIV/AIDS Among Asian and Pacific Islanders in the United States

Asians and Pacific Islanders “were the only racial group with statistically significant percent increases in annual HIV/AIDS diagnosis rates,” in the United States according to an article in the September issue of the Journal of Urban Health. In addition, the diagnosis rate among APIs is increasing faster than any other group. The CDC fact sheet on HIV/AIDS among APIs can be found here.

Despite these startling statistics, there has not been much discussion in the medical community about what these numbers mean or what can be done to contain the problem. While the CDC and some state and local governments have funded programs in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Honolulu, all of which have significant API populations, there has been almost no media coverage of the rising HIV/AIDS rate for APIs.

The conclusion of the Journal article sums it up best. The authors write “… we have a critical opportunity to develop effective prevention programs before these alarming indicators translate into markedly higher HIV prevalence in API American communities, as has occurred in other communities in the U.S. and in the Asia/Pacific region. Let’s not miss this opportunity again.”

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