But seriously, May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, and even though it’s more than half over I’ve decided to contribute to Asian American/Asian Pacific Islander (API) identity awareness by reposting the more interesting API-related material I’ve finally caught myself up with since coming back from India (it’s been a busy, BUSY month for my Google Reader inbox!).
First bit of news enters the bedrooms of Asian and Pacific Islanders–of note, the women–and serves as a frightening reminder that we really need to take charge and responsibility of our sexual encounters. Recent analysis of data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows HIV/AIDS to be on the rise at an unchecked rate among APIs in the US, particularly API women. It was revealed that APIs have the highest rate of increase in new HIV infections in the nation, the only statistically significant growth among any racial or ethnic group. Furthermore, two-thirds of APIs have never been tested for HIV.
The startling numbers on HIV, AIDs, STDs and female APIs:
- API women have the highest rate of increase in new HIV infections – higher than any other ethnic group.
- 80% of API women living with HIV contracted it through heterosexual sex.
- API women are 4 times more likely than API men to have a sexually transmitted disease.
- One in three APIs living with HIV doesn’t know it.
- Over two-thirds of Asians and over half of Pacific Islanders have never been tested for HIV.
- Between 2001 and 2006, the number of new HIV infections among young gay and bisexual Asian and Pacific Islander men more than doubled.
Pretty scary stuff. Which is why it is so important that APIs–especially my fellow ladies–are properly informed on the risks of unsafe sex and take it upon themselves to WRAP IT UP (as my friend Eric likes to say: “You wanna bust it, but you can’t trust it”). The aforementioned data was released just in time for May 19th, 7th annual National Asian & Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. Check out the Banyan Tree Project, a national initiative to educate API communities about HIV/AIDS, for more information. Here’s the campaign’s new public service announcement aimed at API women: