Banyan Tree Project Feature Asian & Pacific Islander Stars in Latest HIV/AIDS Anti-Stigma...

Tue May 20, 2008 1:55pm EDT

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

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 JamesKyson 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

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 or
call 415-292-3400. For information about National A&PI HIV/AIDS Awareness Day,
go to or call 1-866-5BANYAN. Press materials are
available on the website.

SOURCE  Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center

Sheoran Bhupendra, A&PI Wellness Center, Tel: +1-415-292-3420 ext 365, TTY:
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