After I posted about Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and the HIV/AIDS epidemic a few weeks ago, the team at the Banyan Tree Project asked me to help them publicize their Taking Root digital storytelling project.

The Taking Root Digital Storytelling project is the chance for people who have HIV, or who have been in some way affected by it, to tell their own story. During a 3- or 4-day workshop, the participants get the chance to talk through their own stories with others who are also affected by HIV.

They then learn how to create a short video that tells their story, using photos, music and their own narration of their history. For those who twish to stay anonymous, it is easy for them to do so, as only their voice needs to be heard, but it still gives them a powerful outlet to tell their story.

The videos come from people of different ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, and ages. The participants shared how they dealt with their diagnosis and how they have been able to overcome the stigma and fear around HIV and AIDS. Many of the stories reminded me of I Will Survive, the e-book of LGBT stories from Singapore.

The video that resonated with me the most came from Eric (pseudonym), a medical school graduate who decided to specialize in HIV/AIDS care after being diagnosed himself:

The Banyan Tree Project has a list of organizations that do HIV/AIDS outreach to Asian Americans on their web site. Organizations that provide similar outreach services to minority Asian populations outside the US include:

If you know of any more, please let us know in the comments!

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