Serving Asians and Pacific Islanders with HIV/AIDS: Challenges and Lessons Learned

This paper reports on findings from an evaluation of the Bridges Project, a community-based intervention implemented at the Asian and Pacific Islander Coalition on HIV/AIDS (APICHA), to reduce disparities in care for Asians and Pacific Islanders (APIs) living with HIV/AIDS in New York. Comparisons of participants by primary language (Asian language vs. English) and immigration status (undocumented vs. documented/citizen) show that Asian-primary-language and undocumented participants at baseline had a significantly lower rate of receipt of primary care services and experienced significantly more barriers per service than English-primary-language and documented participants. At follow-up, however, differences by primary language and immigration status disappeared, indicating that the Bridges Project was effective in improving service utilization and reducing barriers for the Asian-primary-language and undocumented participants. Barriers to services reported most frequently by participants were language and cost barriers, not knowing where to go for services, and confidentiality concerns. Study findings indicate that the capacity to address multiple API languages and cultures is essential in providing culturally competent care to APIs living with HIV.