Fight Ignorance Campaign
In 2008, the Asian Health Coalition conducted a comprehensive needs assessment survey for three 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 Asian American populations in Chicago means confronting a complex web of challenges, stretching from immigration to identity, language, and 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.
Frontline community peer educators and staff are an underutilized source of expertise regarding cultural factors specific to HIV infection among Asian American communities. The development of Asian community-specific programs, culturally and linguistically appropriate media campaigns, and capacity among direct line staff will help reduce stigma and increase HIV/AIDS testing and counseling.
The Fight Ignorance Campaign was funded by the Illinois Department of Public Health.
Asian American immigrant and refugee communities in metropolitan Chicago
• Cambodian Association of Illinois
• Korean American Community Services
• Lao American Organization of Elgin
• Building the capacity of direct line staff at partner community agencies serving Asian immigrant and refugees through workshop training on HIV/AIDS
• Reduce stigma of HIV/AIDS in the Asian community through a culturally and linguistically tailored multiethnic community media campaign for the Asian communities