The annual National HIV Prevention Conference offers opportunities for governmental and non-governmental organizations to share effective prevention approaches and research findings and strengthen collaborations. At this year’s conference in Atlanta, Georgia, A&PI Wellness Center’s Associate Director of Health Education Ming Ming Kwan and Director of Health Education Carlos Bermudez will present findings and lessons learned regarding our Testing Clinic’s HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis B integration project.
HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis B have similar risk factors and transmission methods; however, HIV is highly stigmatized within many A&PI communities while Hepatitis B is relatively less stigmatized. Using a holistic approach to build healthy A&PI communities, the project aims to effectively introduce HIV/AIDS prevention services to harder-to-reach Asian and Pacific Islander communities that would otherwise avoid this heavily stigmatized topic by incorporating key prevention messages into essential Hepatitis B screening and education sessions.
The integration program has taken place at community-based events and cultural venues (temples, etc.) and at our community-based office locations, where culturally/language-competent educators convey basic information about HIV/AIDS risk factors, transmission methods, and the importance of testing. Testing Clinic has given presentations onsite to community organizations such as Asian Legal Outreach and off-site at Chinese Newcomers Services Center and City College. By providing patient referrals and education “in language” and administering pre- and post-tests, the project is changing attitudes around HIV/AIDS.