We transform lives by advancing health, wellness, and equality for people of all races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, gender identities, and immigration statuses. We believe everyone deserves to be healthy and needs access to the highest quality health care. At A&PI Wellness Center, health care is grounded in social justice.
What Don’t We Know About HIV In the Black Community?
Christopher Chauncey Watson, clinical research site director in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services
We recently spoke with Christopher Chauncey Watson, clinical research site director at George Washington University, about HIV in the African American community. Chauncey works on African American health disparities,focusing on HIV/AIDS.
Can you give us some context of where HIV stands in the Black community?
Currently you have a lot of people living longer with HIV now that it’s more of a chronic condition. This is both a policy and advocacy win, as more people are getting treated. However, African Americans are still bearing the brunt of this disease. 50% of new HIV infections are happening in the African American community, even though overall African Americans are only 12% of the population. This is an alarming rate. As researchers, we’re missing the mark on what’s driving new infections and we need health workers and advocates to do more to get information into the community.
What did Christopher Chauncey Watson have to say about our client Marquis's story?
"Marquis learned who he really was and how to take care of himself after he attempted suicide. One thing we don’t talk about enough is the mental health impact of stigma on living with HIV."
Watch and share Marquis’s story below.
TAKING ROOT: OUR STORIES, OUR COMMUNITY
TAFFY is a Native Hawaiian mahuwahine (transgender woman) HIV test counselor who shares her fear of telling her closest friend and sister that she is HIV positive. With humility and grace, TAFFY tells us that compassion and love can make all the difference in the world.
About Taking Root: Taking Root is a community-owned and community-driven digital storytelling initiative that is part of the Banyan Tree Project's national campaign to end HIV stigma in Asian and Pacific Islander communities. We train individuals across the nation to create their own videos about their personal experiences with HIV. We share the stories to raise awareness and educate A&PIs about the way HIV stigma isolates us from each other. By telling and witnessing our own stories, we learn to overcome our silence and shame.
I AM A&PI WELLNESS CENTER – 25 YEARS OF HEALTH, HOPE, AND HOME
A&PI Wellness Center is 25 years old this year. We've grown a lot since 1987, when a small group of Asians and Pacific Islanders in San Francisco recognized that the HIV/AIDS crisis in A&PI communities wasn’t being addressed by mainstream HIV organizations. Our founders had the courage to stand up and say, "this is not okay." They found ways to create a community of health, hope, and home for A&PIs living with HIV.
Twenty-five years later, we're still meeting the needs of the A&PI community, but we've expanded our services to include more than HIV. We've diversified our staff, clients, and the communities we serve because we know that health care justice means that all underserved communities should have access to the life-saving services we provide.
So, what does it mean to be "A&PI Wellness Center"?
It means bold leadership. We stand up for what's right. It means being inclusive. We bring diverse people together to fight for better health care for ALL communities, not just Asians and Pacific Islanders.
We are a multicultural health services, education, research, and policy organization. We transform lives, strengthen well-being, and lead underserved communities—of any race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, or immigration status—toward justice and health.
We are A&PI Wellness Center.
If you share our values, you are A&PI Wellness Center, too.
We're proud to unveil our new agency video, "I Am A&PI Wellness Center." The video was produced with AE35 Media, an Oakland-based film and video production company. The video was shot in a single day and the cast includes staff and board members of A&PI Wellness Center. This was a labor of love for all involved and we thank AE35 Media for their generosity and talent.
Watch for the 30 second version of this video, which will be broadcast commercially on local television stations in the Bay Area.