With a less open attitude towards Aids, Asian Americans tend to stigmatize their peers infected with AIDS and HIV , according to a medical report published on Monday.
The way Asian cultures treat people with the disease should be changed , said the report issued by the Asian Pacific AIDS Intervention Team.
In an effort to reverse the trend , the team will run public service television spots featuring Asian-Americans talking about AIDS, according to the report available to Xinhua on Monday.
The commercials, part of what the group is calling the Banyan Tree Project, will show people talking about HIV and AIDS in Vietnamese, Cantonese, Tagalog and Hindi.
Tim Young, whose brother Terry Young died of AIDS in 1993, said the subject of AIDS was taboo in many Asian cultures.
``I saw some ugly, ugly things happening to my brother when he was sick,'' said Young, who is program director of the group. `` After he had passed, I came to realize that he wasn't singled out; it was happening to others.''
Terry Young, who lived in Fullerton of Los Angeles, was 29 when he died. His brother told the newspaper that all but one of Terry's friends abandoned him on his death bed and that many families refused to make eye contact with the Youngs because they had a family member with AIDS.
The number of AIDS diagnoses in the Asian-American population has increased in recent years. In 2002, Asian-American and Pacific Islander groups accounted for 2 percent of the cases reported in the Los Angeles Orange County, where the team is based. It rose to 5 percent in 2005, said the report.
Young said the numbers could be higher because some local residents get treated in other areas in Los Angeles and San Diego to avoid being seen in their neighborhood.