Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A&PI Wellness Center Co-Hosts Dance For SF Pride Celebration

TransGriot Note: For those of you in the San Francisco Bay Area looking for something to do for Pride June 27-28, you may wish to check out this event. For further info about it you can contact Stephanie Goss at 415-292-3420 ext. 330 or David Stupplebeen at 415-292-3420 ext. 361


Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center will host the Asian & Pacific Islander (A&PI) Contingent, Pavilion and Dance Arena at the 39th San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Parade and Celebration on Sunday June 28, 2009, featuring Grand Marshals Lieutenant Dan Choi and Helen Zia and special guest ONGINA.

In collaboration with Club Dragon and SHANGRI-LA, A&PI Wellness Center will present the very first A&PI Dance Arena from 12:00 - 6:30 pm PDT, featuring guest DJs and dance groups such as Downe FX and Twisted Illusion, hosted by an array of spectacular personalities led by community icon, Tita Aida.

A&PI Wellness Center will also offer free, confidential, and anonymous rapid oral HIV testing and Hep B screening for at-risk A&PIs from 10 am to 5 pm PDT at A&PI Wellness Center's booth in the A&PI Pavilion on Polk Street and Golden Gate Avenue. Including HIV prevention education in the Pride celebration is more important now, than ever, particularly in the face of the drastic California state budget cuts proposed by Governor Schwarzenegger (which includes a reduction of $80.1 million from HIV funding alone).

The threat of HIV/AIDS continues to grow in the U.S., particularly in communities of color who collectively represent 70% of the national epidemic. The impact of the disease among A&PIs is alarming, though less-publicized than that of Blacks and Latinos.

In A&PI communities, the HIV/AIDS rate rose 34% from 1999 to 2003 and another 10% since then. Moreover, the number of HIV diagnoses among young A&PI gay men more than doubled between 2001 and 2006. Despite this, over two thirds of the A&PI community has never been tested for HIV. Coinfection with HIV and HBV is common, with about 70-90% of HIV-infected individuals having evidence of past or active infection with HBV. Approximately half of persons with chronic hepatitis B are Asian Americans.

Join A&PI Wellness Center in celebrating A&PI LGBT Pride! The official A&PI Pride Kick-Off Party will be held on Thursday, June 25, 2009 from 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm at A&PI Wellness Center, located at 730 Polk Street, Fourth Floor. Light refreshments, hors d'oeuvres, and entertainment will be provided. For more information, please contact

About Lieutenant Dan Choi
Lieutenant Dan Choi graduated from the US Military Academy at West Point in 2003 and served as an infantry officer in an extended combat tour in Iraq (2006-7).

As a founder of "Knights Out," the West Point LGBT Alumni, he fights for the repeal of the discriminatory "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy and reminds all soldiers that they are not alone and should never be ashamed of being honest with themselves and others. He declared his sexual orientation publicly on national television, resulting in his recent notification of discharge despite his desire to continue serving.

About Helen Zia

Helen Zia is an award-winning journalist and scholar who has covered Asian American communities and social and political movements for decades. She is the author of Asian American Dreams: The Emergence of an American People, a finalist for the prestigious Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize.

Zia is also the former executive editor of Ms. Magazine and her articles, essays and reviews have appeared in numerous publications, books, and anthologies. She was named one of the most influential Asian Americans of the decade by A. Magazine. A second-generation Chinese American, Zia has been outspoken on issues ranging from civil rights and peace, to women's rights and countering hate violence and homophobia.

ONGINA is most recognized for her recent appearance on LOGO's reality show "RuPaul's DRAG RACE." She delighted audiences across United States, bringing a strong, bold, beautiful and entertaining character that honors and respects the artistry of drag-wig or no wig!

ONGINA didn't finish as the final winner of the show, but she finished first in our hearts for her courage in revealing that she is HIV positive. ONGINA is now recognized as a poster girl for many A&PI LGBTs who are living with HIV or AIDS, and will be making an appearance at the festival parade.


About Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center
A&PI Wellness Center's mission is to educate, support, empower and advocate for Asian & Pacific Islander communities, particularly A&PIs living with or at risk for HIV/AIDS.

With three sites in the San Francisco Bay Area and a staff fluent in 20 languages, A&PI Wellness Center delivers programs regionally, statewide, and nationally, and collaborates with community-based organizations throughout the Asia Pacific Region. For press materials or more information please visit

Our postal address is
730 Polk St. 4th floor
San Francisco, California 94109
United States

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