Did you know that nearly 2/3 of Asian-Americans have not been tested for HIV?

Today is National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, and one factor above all that influences the spread of HIV is Stigma.

From banyantreeproject.org:

Stigma hurts you

We’re afraid to talk about HIV. We’re ashamed to talk about sex. We’re ashamed to ask for help. We suffer alone in silence because of stigma.

It hurts people living with HIV

If you have HIV, you’re afraid someone will find out. You might not see a doctor. You may live in fear of losing your job, home, or loved ones.

It hurts your community

We’re afraid to get tested for HIV. Over half of us have never been tested. Our silence makes us ignorant and scared. We don’t learn the facts.

Take their quiz to find out if you are a Stigmatizer.

Are you a stigmatizer?

Here at ASA, we know the importance of fighting stigma and indifference wherever possible. If HIV is not talked about, it becomes invisible. And you can’t protect yourself from something you don’t know is there.

Stigma also hurts people living with HIV, especially people from minority communities that are tight-knit. We’ve heard stories of men and women who are shunned by their families and community. They are forced to eat on separate plates and sleep in separate rooms. They may be banned from church or other public spaces.

But we know that on the other side, when you have the support of your friends and family, you can thrive with HIV. You don’t have to face it alone or feel ashamed.

Make a point to talk to your family and friends about HIV. If you hear someone spreading misinformation about HIV, correct them. And above all, get tested and encourage everyone you know to get tested!