by Pat Lin. This post originally appeared on the SAGE blog.
On World AIDS Day, it’s important to commemorate how far we’ve come since the HIV/AIDS pandemic started. HIV isn’t the death sentence it used to be, but many long-term survivors of HIV continue to pay an emotional, physical and financial toll. In addition to managing the disease, HIV survivors still face stigma. As they get older and the effects of the disease compound the challenges of aging, they become more vulnerable. As the nation’s largest and oldest organization serving LGBT older adults, Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) seeks to eradicate the stigma around HIV and to create welcoming spaces for long-term HIV survivors.
Each year on December 1st, we join millions of individuals and organizations around the globe in commemorating World AIDS Day. The prevention of HIV/AIDS – as well as the continued care of those living with HIV – has always been a top priority for the Diverse Elders Coalition and the communities we represent.
Fast approaching proverbial rear view mirror status is World AIDS Day, celebrated on December 1 for “achieving the global target of halting and reversing the spread of HIV.” Pretty heady accomplishments toward a “disease with the little name” that among other things wiped out generations of people beginning in the 80s. Back then, homosexuals, Haitians, hemophiliacs and heroin drug users were referred to by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) as its top four high-risk group for AIDS/HIV. Many folks and organizations, including government workers, researchers, medical professionals and the Baltimore Afro American newspaper, dubbed this group as the “4-H Disease Alert.”
At that time, not much was known about how you got it or how you could get rid.... Read More
By 2020, 70% of Those Living With HIV Will be 50 or Older
This post originally appeared on the SAGE blog and continues our weeklong commemoration of World AIDS Day.
Did you know that 50% of those living with HIV are age 50 or older? By 2020, that number will grow to70%. The latest national data show that adults 50 and older account for 17% of all new HIV/AIDS diagnoses and 29% of all persons living with AIDS. Research also finds that over 50% of adults age 65-74 and 26% of age 75-85 are sexually active with more than one partner. But ageist misconceptions, combined with poor sexual health education, contribute to the growing epidemic of HIV/AIDS.... Read More
On December 1st, individuals and organizations around the world commemorate World AIDS Day, an acknowledgement of how far we’ve come in fighting this disease and how much work is still to be done to erase stigma, find a cure, and support survivors. The Diverse Elders Coalition has worked since our inauguration in 2010 to lift up the stories of diverse elders with HIV and to raise awareness about the ways in which our communities are disproportionately impacted by HIV/AIDS.
As the new National Managing Coordinator for the Diverse Elders Coalition, I am pleased to write my first post for our blog here on World AIDS Day. Observed annually on December 1, World AIDS Day is recognized around the world with this year’s theme: Focus, Partner, Achieve: An AIDS-Free Generation. This theme directly invokes the idea of age and makes us “focus” in on how different generations experience the epidemic, and is particularly appropriate for us to think about here.
As an openly gay man, I grew up and entered my teen years during the height of the epidemic in the 1980s. At the same time, I grew up a child of immigrants in a Filipino American household with two.... Read More