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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Building Community Capacity For Rapid Response to State Health Crises: Learning from HIV/AIDS among Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs)


Health crises have become a significant threat to the well-being and quality of life of California’s residents, with SARS and avian influenza the most obvious recent examples of such threats. The State of California has engaged in significant efforts at the state and local levels to devise plans and strategies to address emerging health threats, including rapid spread of infectious disease and bioterrorism, however, there remain significant gaps, particularly concerning the rapidity and effectiveness of communication to California’s growing immigrant population. We argue that enhancing community-based organization (CBO) capacity to address health crises such as potential pandemics is a necessary yet overlooked component. This article uses capacity building regarding HIV/AIDS prevention in the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities in Southern California as a new model of emergency preparedness, one that leverages the untapped resources in CBOs.

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