The "Demon Plague" and access to care among Asian undocumented immigrants living with HIV disease in New York City.

Ezer Kang, Bruce D. Rapkin, Carolyn Springer, Jen Haejin Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Scopus citations


Access to and utilization of care for HIV-positive Asians (A) and Pacific Islanders (PI) have been largely unaddressed despite the rising influx of immigrants from Asia and the Pacific to the United States and the growing HIV prevalence in these regions. This paper describes the cultural attitudes, behaviors, and perceptions that affect access to and utilization of care among Asian undocumented noncitizens living with HIV/AIDS (UNWHA) in New York City. Sixteen semistructured interviews with HIV-positive UNWHAs revealed that their access to care was influenced by community misperceptions of HIV transmission, discriminatory attitudes towards persons living with HIV, competing immigration related stressors, and difficulty navigating service systems. These findings underscore the importance of integrating HIV treatment with primary prevention and awareness of immigration-related stressors to ensure timely access to screening services and care among Asian UNWHAs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-58
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of immigrant health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2003
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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