May Health Equity Link

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May 2021  |  View as a webpage

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In this Issue

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Each May, the HHS Office of Minority Health (OMH) recognizes Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month and celebrates the achievements and contributions of AAPIs in the United States. This year, OMH and its partners will focus on supporting communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic by continuing to promote vaccine confidence and by addressing the recent rise in violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

OMH is urging state, tribal, and local leaders, community-based organizations, faith leaders, healthcare providers and individuals to leverage their communication channels and social media platforms to not only take part in the observance month but also provide information and resources to AAPI communities to assist them in prioritizing their mental and emotional wellness in the current state of racism and intolerance.

Throughout the month, OMH invites everyone to join the conversation using the hashtags #StopAAPIHate and #VaccineReady to share accurate information, resources, and the following upcoming events:

  • Past and Present: Addressing Racism and Intolerance Against Asian Americans virtual panel discussion on Saturday, May 8 from 2:00-3:30 pm ET, hosted by OMH, the National Park Service (NPS), and the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI).
  • AAPI Heritage Month Twitter Chat with the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO), and the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA) on Wednesday, May 19 at 2:00 pm ET.

Visit the AAPI Heritage Month webpage to find more information, health resources, upcoming events, shareable graphics and social media messaging.

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HHS COVID-19 Community Corps

HHS COVID-19 Community Corps

In April, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) COVID-19 Public Health Education Campaign launched the COVID-19 Community Corps, a nationwide, grassroots network of local voices and trusted community leaders to encourage COVID-19 vaccinations.

This effort will mobilize health professionals, scientists, community organizations, faith leaders, businesses, rural stakeholders, civil rights organizations, sports leagues and athletes, and people from all walks of life to become leaders within their communities to help get friends, family, and neighbors vaccinated.

OMH invites you to join the conversation by using the hashtag #VaccineReady and joining the COVID-19 Community Corps. As a Corps member, you will get resources to help build vaccine confidence in your community, including:

  • Fact sheets on vaccine safety, tips on how to talk with friends and family about the importance of vaccination, and hints for planning and attending community events.
  • Social media content to share with your followers.
  • Regular email updates with the latest vaccine news and resources to share.

To learn more about the COVID-19 Public Health Education Campaign or to join the Community Corps, visit

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Lupus Awareness Month

Lupus Awareness Month

May is Lupus Awareness Month and is an opportunity for the lupus community to join together across the nation to raise awareness of the physical, emotional, and economic impact this disease has on minority populations—particularly women of color. The Lupus Foundation of America has announced that this year’s call to action is “Make Lupus Visible.”

Lupus is a chronic, autoimmune disease that triggers inflammation in different tissues of the body. According to the Office on Women's Health (OWH), about 9 out of 10 adults with lupus are women, however, men, children and teenagers can develop lupus too. Lupus is more common in Hispanic, Asian and American Indian/Alaska Native women. African American women are three times more likely to get lupus than white women.

Although lupus is a chronic disease with no cure, treatment can help improve symptoms, prevent flares, and prevent other health problems.

This month, help make lupus visible by participating in World Lupus Day (May 10) and Put on Purple Day (May 21). For more information and to access downloadable materials, visit the Lupus Awareness Month website.

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National Women’s Health Week – May 9-15

National Women’s Health Week

National Women’s Health Week (NWHM) is a weeklong observance led by the HHS Office on Women’s Health (OWH) to encourage women and girls to make their health a priority and build positive health habits, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is crucial for all women and girls with underlying health conditions, such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular and respiratory conditions, and women 65 years and older, to take care of their health now.

As part of the observance week, OWH reminds women and girls to take care of their body and mind by doing the following:

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Get and stay active regularly at home or outside the home
  • Eat heart-healthy food
  • Take care of their mental health
  • Find healthy ways to manage stress
  • Practice good sleep habits
  • Monitor alcohol intake

For more information about National Women’s Health Week, please visit the OWH website.

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National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day – May 19

National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

March 19 is National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. This observance, which was founded by the Banyan Tree Project, is designed to educate and help remove the stigma of HIV within the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities and provide information on prevention, testing, and treatment.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 66.5% of Asian Americans and 43.1% of Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islanders have never been tested for HIV. The AAPI community has the lowest HIV testing rates of all racial and ethnic minority populations. About 1 in 5 AAPIs living with HIV do not know they have it.

Getting tested regularly is the first step in protecting your health and stopping the spread of the virus to others.

For more information about HIV/AIDS prevention and treatments, testing services and downloadable materials, visit the CDC’s National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day webpage.

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Knowledge Center

knowledge center see our newest acquisitions

During Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, the OMH Knowledge Center online catalog is featuring a reading list of books and articles that document the health impacts of violence and discrimination on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. To read these publications, search the online catalog here.

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