By Marnette Federis
While Asian-American and Pacific Islanders have very low rates of HIV infection — in the single digits — they had the highest rate of increase in new HIV infections between 2001 and 2008. While other ethnic groups had declining infection rates, Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders experienced a 4.4 percent increase.
What’s more alarming to many advocates is the low testing rates within the community. Less than one-third of Asian-Americans and less than half of Pacific Islanders have been tested for HIV. Experts estimate that many who have the virus delay getting tested. If they don’t get tested, they cannot be treated, potentially shortening their lives.
“They still have … stereotypes about people living with HIV,” said Chung. “There are surveys where people think that people with HIV should not work at restaurants. … That’s pretty significant.” In addition, advocates say Asian American and Pacific Islander communities have been overlooked in national HIV/AIDS awareness campaigns. Continue reading