Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center


For Immediate Release                  Contact: Stephanie Goss, 415-292-3420 ext. 330

April 27, 2009                            David Stupplebeen, 415-292-3420 ext. 361                             





San Francisco, CA. On Tuesday, May 19th, 2009, Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center (A&PI Wellness Center) will screen an exclusive video message from CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta at Bloom: Show Compassion. The event is a gala benefit for A&PI Wellness Center in honor of the 5th Annual National Asian & Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.


Dr. Gupta’s message—produced for the Banyan Tree Project, A&PI Wellness Center’s national campaign to reduce HIV-related stigma—highlights the growing HIV/AIDS epidemic in Asian & Pacific Islander (A&PI) communities. “As a doctor, as a journalist, as a parent” he says, “I’ve traveled all over the world in an effort to raise awareness of HIV prevention and access to treatment. What I’ve noticed in the United States is people often simply don’t want to discuss it. Some perceive the topic of HIV/AIDS as too taboo, too uncomfortable to talk about. But this stigma does impact all of us and it’s time to break the cycle…It’s time for all of us to get educated on the risks of HIV/AIDS and then to spread the message.”


The threat of HIV/AIDS continues to grow in the U.S., particularly in communities of color who collectively represent 70% of the national epidemic. The impact of the disease among A&PIs is alarming, though less-publicized than that of Blacks and Latinos. In A&PI communities, the HIV/AIDS rate rose 34% from 1999 to 2003 and another 10% since then. Moreover, the number of HIV diagnoses among young A&PI gay men more than doubled between 2001 and 2006. Despite this, over two thirds of the A&PI community has never been tested for HIV.


The message will premiere at Bloom: Show Compassion, A&PI Wellness Center’s yearly gala in honor of the 5th Annual National A&PI HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. The gala is a community gathering and award presentation, with entertainment, a silent auction and cuisine from top San Francisco restaurants. The 2009 Ally Award will be presented to Joseph Garrett, JD, for his tireless commitment to the fight against HIV/AIDS. The event will also feature Good Asian Drivers, a forceful duo performing a blend of folk-rock, pop and spoken word tackling issues of race and gender in the A&PI LGBT experience.


Bloom: Show Compassion will be held on Tuesday, May 19th, at the San Francisco Design Center Galleria (101 Henry Adams St, San Francisco) from 6pm-9pm. Purchase tickets at or call 415-292-3420 x 375. Tickets are $100.00 each.



About Sanjay Gupta, MD

Dr. Sanjay Gupta is CNN’s chief medical correspondent and the chief of neurosurgery service at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, GA. One of fifteen White House Fellows from 1997-1998, he served as an advisor to Hillary Clinton. He was also a candidate for the position of Surgeon General under the Obama administration. In 2006, his reports from New Orleans’ Charity Hospital in the wake of Hurricane Katrina won an Emmy Award for outstanding feature reporting.


About Joseph Garrett, JD

Joseph Garrett, JD is a current Board Member of Pangaea Global AIDS Foundation and AIDS Relief Fund for China. Garrett is active in fighting HIV/AIDS both locally and internationally.


About Good Asian Drivers

Good Asian Drivers—a powerhouse duo featuring slam poet Kit Yan and songwriter Melissa Li—broke into the national spotlight in 2008 with an unforgettable cross-country tour, playing in over 30 states in 12 weeks. Their music is an artful blend of folk-rock, pop and spoken word tackling issues of race and gender in the A&PI LGBT experience. For more information on the group and their music, visit


About Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center

A&PI Wellness Center’s mission is to educate, support, empower and advocate for Asian & Pacific Islander communities, particularly A&PIs living with or at risk for HIV/AIDS. With three sites in the San Francisco Bay Area and a staff fluent in 20 languages, A&PI Wellness Center delivers programs regionally, statewide, and nationally, and collaborates with community-based organizations throughout the Asia Pacific Region. For press materials or more information please visit