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Banyan Tree Project Feature Asian & Pacific Islander Stars in Latest HIV/AIDS Anti-Stigma Public Service Announcements
Date:5/19/2008

SAN FRANCISCO, May 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Banyan Tree Project is helping put an end to HIV/AIDS-related stigma and discrimination. The program has released four 30-second public service announcements (PSAs) featuring three major Asian & Pacific Islander (A&PI) stars: Joan Chen, Amy Hanaiali'i Gilliom, and Jason Kyson Lee. These PSAs are being released to highlight the Fourth National A&PI HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, May 19.

The PSAs highlight three points: the alarming increase of HIV infections in the US A&PI communities; the importance of showing compassion to those living with HIV; and the need for A&PIs to get tested for HIV. Chen is an award-winning actress, director, and producer. Gilliom is a Hawaiian singer/songwriting legend. Lee is an actor from NBC's critically-acclaimed television drama Heroes. You can watch all four PSAs by visiting http://banyantreeproject.org

In the spots, the celebrities are bringing attention to how HIV and AIDS are impacting their communities. They go on to say, "Join me in breaking the circle of silence and shame that exists in our community around HIV & AIDS. We must show compassion to those who are living with HIV. Show that you care. Get educated, get tested."

The PSAs were developed using the findings of A&PI Wellness Center's social marketing research and are tagged and tailored to be regionally relevant for distribution across the US. Over the next 90 days, it is estimated that more than 200 million households will be touched by these spots. Cable and telecommunications industry AIDS action group Cable Positive has made it possible for these PSAs to be aired on Asian and LGBT-oriented cable channels, as well as mainstream cable networks including the Discovery Channel, USA Network and MTV. Local broadcast network channels in the Banyan Tree Project's five partner cities: San Francisco, Boston, Los Angles, Honolulu and Chicago will provide additional placements to target local A&PI viewers.

National A&PI HIV/AIDS Awareness Day sprouted from the Banyan Tree Project, which is funded by the US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. The Banyan Tree Project is a groundbreaking national campaign designed to foster acceptance and compassion toward A&PIs living with, or at risk for HIV/AIDS. Other campaign activities include the development of PSAs dramatizing the critical issue of HIV/AIDS in A&PI communities.

Through informing, teaching and setting a positive example, the project goal is to stop the cycle of discrimination and silence, by eliminating barriers that delay or prevent access to HIV prevention and care services. These PSAs promote The Banyan Tree Project's goals of producing year-round anti-stigma media campaigns and highlighting the National A&PI HIV/AIDS Awareness Day on May 17.

For more information on A&PI Wellness Center, go to http://www.apiwellness.org or call 415-292-3400. For information about National A&PI HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, go to http://www.banyantreeproject.org or call 1-866-5BANYAN. Press materials are available on the website.


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SOURCE Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center
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