Fight Ignorance Campaign
PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: In 2008, AHC conducted a comprehensive needs assessment survey for 3 Asian immigrant communities (Chinese, Vietnamese and Cambodian) in the Chicago metropolitan area. The findings in these Asian communities highlighted the dire need for more HIV related programming targeted at local Asian subgroups. Specifically, the Asian community still faces significant barriers due to HIV stigma. The low response rate to questions regarding HIV, coupled with anecdotal information from interviewers, suggests that the disease remains a source of embarrassment and fear for Asian immigrants.
Confronting the issue of HIV/AIDS among the AAPI populations in Chicago means confronting a complex web of challenges, stretching from immigration to identity to language to culture. In addition these challenges are further compounded by the fact that access to culturally relevant HIV-AIDS prevention services is also limited for Asian Americans.
TARGET POPULATION: Asian American Immigrant and Refugees Communities in Metropolitan Chicago
– Cambodian Association of Illinois
– Korean American Community Services
– Lao American Organization of Elgin
PROGRAM GOAL: AHC launched the “Fight Ignorance” campaign in 2011-2012 which focused on reducing misinformation and stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS in Asian American communities through the following goals:
1. Building the capacity of direct line and other staff at partner community agencies serving Asian immigrant and refugees through workshop trainings on HIV/AIDS
2. Reduce stigma of HIV/AIDS in the Asian community through a culturally and linguistically tailored multi-ethnic community media campaign for the Asian communities
While the Asian community-based organizations (CBOs) in Chicago currently participate in national Asian HIV awareness activities, Asian immigrants and refugees living in more dispersed suburban communities do not benefit from such initiatives. The lack of access to culturally and linguistically competent HIV awareness and education opportunities, coupled with the rapid growth of the Asian-American population in the suburbs, underscores the need for an education and stigma-reducing intervention.
The Fight Ignorance Campaign was funded by the Illinois Department of Public Health. Frontline CBO peer educators and staff are an underutilized source of expertise regarding cultural factors specific to HIV infection among AAPI communities. The development of Asian community specific programs designed to increase awareness through a media campaign and build the capacity of agency direct line staff, will help reduce stigma and increase HIV/AIDS testing and counseling.
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