National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day – May 19, 2023

National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is observed on May 19 every year in the United States. It was first observed in 2005. It falls during Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. The awareness holiday was founded by the Banyan Tree Project, with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (C.D.C.). The aim is to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS in Asian and Pacific Islander communities. This helps prevent HIV, and it also helps those who are currently living with HIV. The day helps to break the silence and remove some of the stigma attached to HIV and AIDS in Asian and Pacific Islander communities.

History of National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is observed on May 19 every year in the United States. It helps to raise awareness and encourage people to get tested for HIV. HIV was first reported by the New York Times in 1981. There was an outbreak of a rare form of cancer among gay men in New York and California. It was referred to as the “gay cancer,” but was later identified as Kaposi sarcoma. Otherwise healthy young men were rushed to emergency rooms presenting with fevers, flu-like symptoms, and a rare type of pneumonia called Pneumocystis. There was a global outbreak that killed millions of people just within the course of a few years.

By the year 2009, scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill had decoded the structure of an entire HIV genome. This allowed scientists to develop newer diagnostic tools and targeted treatment for HIV. This effort led to the development of integrase inhibitors. These inhibitors are now used for first-line treatment in the United States.

In 2014, the World Health Organization and the United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) announced their plan to end the HIV pandemic by the year 2030. They intend to do this by diagnosing 90% of people living with HIV worldwide. They would place them on HIV therapy and achieve an undetectable viral load. The program has faced some challenges which include ever-increasing rates of drug resistance and treatment failures worldwide and shrinking contributions from donor countries.

National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day timeline

1983
Treating HIV is Illegal

Dr. Joseph Sonnabend is threatened with eviction for treating people who have HIV.

1985
Blood Banks Screen for HIV

As recommended by the Public Health Service, blood banks in the United States begin screening for HIV.

1987
A Travel Ban is Imposed

A travel ban is placed by the U.S. on visitors and immigrants with HIV, directed by the Reagan administration.

2010
The Travel Ban is Lifted

The ban is lifted by President Barack Obama.

National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day FAQs

Do people infected with HIV develop AIDS?

A person infected with HIV can develop AIDS within 10 to 15 years.

What helps with AIDS?

The progression of AIDS can be prevented with antiretroviral therapy, which decreases the viral load in an infected body.

Where is HIV found in the body?

HIV is found in body fluids like blood, breast milk, semen, and vaginal fluids.

How to Observe National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

  1. Make a donation

    You can donate to a foundation that supports HIV awareness. Someone may get access to treatment because of it.

  2. Get tested

    There are quick tests that can be taken to test for HIV. You can also encourage someone to take the test.

  3. Share the holiday

    You can share the holiday in person with the people around you. You can also share the holiday online.

5 Important Facts About HIV And AIDS

  1. HIV is a virus

    HIV is short for human immunodeficiency virus, which is a retrovirus.

  2. It affects immunity

    HIV infects the cells of the human immune system and destroys its functioning.

  3. It causes immunodeficiency

    The progressive depletion of the immune system leads to immunodeficiency.

  4. HIV causes AIDS

    Infection of HIV is considered to be the underlying cause of AIDS.

  5. HIV has symptoms

    Some symptoms of HIV include fever, rash, joint pains, and enlarged lymph nodes.

Why National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is Important

  1. It saves lives

    The importance of this day can’t be understated. It helps save the lives of people infected with HIV.

  2. It prevents the spread

    Awareness efforts help to prevent the spread of HIV. Forewarned is forearmed.

  3. It debunks myths

    There are many stigmas associated with HIV and it’s mainly due to misinformation. The day helps to spread factual information about HIV and debunks some myths about it.

National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day dates

YearDateDay
2023May 19Friday
2024May 19Sunday
2025May 19Monday
2026May 19Tuesday
2027May 19Wednesday

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