Asians, Pacific Islanders Reveal How HIV Affects Their Lives, Communities in Digital Story Series

To commemorate May 19th, 2013—the 9th annual National Asian & Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day—the Banyan Tree Project hosted a series of Twitter chats throughout the month premiering twenty new digital stories by Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (AAs and NHPIs) living with or affected by HIV from “Taking Root: Our Stories, Our Community”. The Twitter chats were co-hosted by partner organizations across the nation and facilitated thoughtful online conversations about the ways we are all affected by HIV.

In the first Twitter chat the Banyan Tree Project and partner organization theBody.com showcased stories of AAs and NHPIs living with HIV. Jaimie, a community advocate and mother of two, shared a video love letter to her sons whose unconditional support allowed her to stay sober and help others living with the disease. “I knew I wasn’t a perfect mom,” Jaimie says. “You gave me space to be me, to make mistakes, to love you…I know I’m still alive today because of your unconditional love.”

In “Courage to Live On,” Martin—a gay Chamorro man from Guam diagnosed with AIDS—tells us how the secrecy of his status complicates his health. For Martin, openly sharing his story inspires him to keep going.“Each time I share my story,” Martin says, “something within me is lifted. A weight taken away, enabling me to go on living.”

The stories are produced in partnership with the Center for Digital Storytelling.

Population of focus: Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders

Link to resource: http://www.banyantreeproject.org/takingroot.php

Date: 2013

Organization: Banyan Tree Project and Center for Digital Storytelling