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Lance Toma, Executive Director of Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center, was interviewed by Barbara Rodgers for Comcast Newsmakers. Lance talks about May 19, National Asian & Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, how HIV-related stigma contributes to rising HIV rates in the A&PI community, and some of the commemoration events happening in the San Francisco Bay Area.

James Kyson-Lee, one of the stars from NBC's "Heroes" sat down with the Banyan Tree Project for World AIDS Day. James wants the Asian & Pacific Islander community, especially A&PI youth, to learn the facts about HIV. We are all at risk, but we can protect ourselves with knowledge and action. Talk about HIV—for you, for me, for everyone!

Kiran Ahuja is the Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. She is responsible for directing the efforts of the White House Initiative and the Presidential Advisory Commission on AAPIs to advise federal agency leadership on the implementation and coordination of federal programs as they relate to AAPIs across executive departments and agencies. Kiran sat down with A&PI Wellness Center Executive Director Lance Toma to film a special message to the community for May 19.

Ryan Ong Palao, also known the world over as Ongina made a special appearance on May 19 for the Banyan Tree Project's San Francisco Press Conference on the state of HIV and Hepatitis B in the Asian & Pacific Islander community. Before the press conference began, Ryan sat down with the Banyan Tree Project team to film a special statement about living with HIV and a call to action for the community on National Asian & Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.

California Assemblywoman and Speaker pro Tempore Fiona Ma is living with hepatitis B. Hepatitis B is often endemic in Pacific Rim countries, and it is growing in the US. May 19 was also World Hepatitis Day. Assemblywoman Ma was able to take time out of her hectic schedule to talk about hepatitis B and HIV. 1 in 10 Asians and Pacific Islanders are living with a chronic hepatitis B infection. Chronic hepatitis B is a silent killer in our community, and leads to liver cancer. Hepatitis B and HIV are transmitted in similar ways, so it is wise to ask for both a hepatitis B screening and HIV test if possible.

James Kyson Lee, one of NBC's Heroes is a Banyan Tree Project spokesperson. For the 6th annual National Asian & Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, James took time out of his busy schedule to film a special ask for the community to get educated and talk about HIV.

Saurabh Bajaj, A&PI Wellness Center’s Director of Development, was recently interviewed for Comcast Newsmakers. Saurabh talks about the problem that stigma poses for the A&PI community, and how stigma contributes to increasing rates of HIV.

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The Banyan Tree Project is a program of Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center

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This web site was supported by Cooperative Agreement Number 1U65PS002095-01 from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Taking Root Digital Storytelling Initiative is also supported by the Office of Minority Health Resource Center. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Office of Minority Health Resource Center.