Brian Ragas, Communications Manager
San Francisco, CA– San Francisco Community Health Center (SFCHC) celebrates the month of May as API Heritage month which culminates with National Asian and Pacific Islander (API) HIV Awareness Day on the 19th. Together with community partners and allies will hold a celebratory event on Friday, May 24th 2019.
San Francisco Community Health Center (formerly API Wellness), a longtime leader in the HIV/AIDS care and treatment, worked in collaboration with the CDC to launch National API HIV/AIDS Day in 2005. The day holds incredible significance to highlight the stigma and shame associated with HIV and testing efforts that are prevalent in API communities.
The CDC estimates that only about 80% of Asians living with HIV in the United States have received a diagnosis, a lower rate than for any other race or ethnicity because many still live in fear of HIV testing to discover their status.
“Since the late 1980s, San Francisco Community Health Center has been conducting outreach at bars and clubs, community and cultural events, religious and faith-based institutions, and bath houses and sex clubs. We continue to do this so that we can make sure our API queer community has the most up-to-date information and access to HIV testing, treatment services, prevention education, and PrEP.” Said Lance Toma, Chief Executive Officer. “The bottom line is that HIV-related stigma and shame continues to permeate our communities and negatively impact our HIV testing rates and why we will continue to lag behind with respect to uptake of all the incredible biomedical prevention and treatment options currently available.”
On Friday May 24th, 2019 from 6:30pm to 10:00pm at the Children’s Creative Museum, 221 4thStreet, San Francisco, SFCHC along with various community partners will be holding a National API HIV/AIDS Awareness Day event, that will feature food, entertainment, free HIV testing, and a discussion panel “HIV Among API’s: The Past, Present and Future”