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South Bay Asian and Pacific Islander Community Plans 'Express ARTself' for the 4th Annual National Asian & Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

SANTA CLARA, Calif., May 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- FLARE Santa Clara HIV County Collaborative: PACE Clinic, Asian Americans for Community Involvement (AACI), The Billy DeFrank Center Lesbian and Gay Community Center, Song That Radio, Santa Clara County Public Health Department, Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center present a performance art contest at DeAnza Community College on Thursday, May 22, 2008 from 11 to 2 PM.

The midday celebration on the campus's main quad includes cultural performances of Taiko drummers and speeches by elected official City Councilman Evan Low. The highlight are artistic performances from the top three winners of "Express Art Self."

The collaborative event is the largest organized activity in the South Bay to recognize the 4th National Asian & Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. The winners of the "Express ARTself" contest are judged on this year's national theme, of "Together, We Can: Open your heart to make a difference." Artists, poets, dancers, and musicians, are asked to interpret how the Asian and Pacific Islanders communities have been called to respond individually and collectively in the third decade of the epidemic.

More recently in a community research report entitled "Filling the Gaps," HIV cases have more than doubled among A&PIs in Santa Clara County. Yet despite the increase of HIV cases, the study shows that among Filipinos and Vietnamese, factors such as stigma, misinformation, and lack of community dialogue continue to limit access to and utilization of HIV health services. In general, there are few services and programs that address the cultural and linguistic needs of these communities, particularly around sexual health issues.

The FLARE Santa Clara County Collaborative is a coalition of HIV prevention service providers in San Mateo and San Jose counties to combat the HIV and AIDS epidemic in the Asian and Pacific Islander communities.

SOURCE Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center
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