SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – New numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that Asian and Pacific Islander women showed significant growth in terms of HIV infection, a troubling sign for community leaders in San Francisco.
Sapna Mysoor with the Asian and Pacific Islander Wellness Center said she hopes that this will begin a conversation about sexual health and lead to more testing and earlier treatment in her community.
KCBS’ Margie Shafer Reports:
“Asian and Pacific Islanders as a group have shown the highest rate of increase, although their cumulative numbers are lower than other races and ethnicities,” she said.
In fact, Asians &Pacific Islanders were the only racial or ethnic group to show a significant growth for HIV infection in the United States.
Mysoor said that there is a cultural stigma about the topic, in part because of what she calls the “model minority myth.”
“You see a young Asian and Pacific Islander girl come in and you think, she’s probably good at math and science,” said Mysoor. “These stereotypes do influence how we see ourselves at risk and how providers treat us.”
Researchers also found that sexually experienced A&PI women are the least likely to be offered an HIV test in OB/GYN settings.
May 19 marks the 7th annual National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day with events scheduled across the country to raise HIV awareness and promote testing in the community.
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