As An HIV Survivor, COVID-19 Stigma Is Sadly Familiar

by John-Manuel Andriote. This article originally appeared on Next Avenue.

Elizabeth Martucci figured it made perfect sense to share the exciting news that she and her 11-year-old son had recovered from COVID-19. The New Jersey resident even had “COVID-19 Survivor” T-shirts made.

Martucci didn’t anticipate the response she’d get to being a survivor — and the sometimes jarring lengths to which some will go because of their fear. As The New York Times reported in a story about Martucci, “Even now, a month into their recovery, some neighbors see them and run.”

“Federal.... Read More

             

With HIV/AIDS, What Does Successful Aging Look Like?

by Grace Birnstengel. This article originally appeared on Next Avenue.

At 62, Hugo Sapién is seriously considering going back to school to earn a master’s degree in theology. In his younger days, this is something he would have never considered — not for lack of interest, but because he didn’t think he’d live long enough to even finish his undergraduate degree.

“I thought there’s no way I’m going to make it,” Sapién, of San Antonio, says. “I wouldn’t make any long-term plans.”

This was the mid-80s, when Sapién suspects he acquired HIV (he wasn’t diagnosed until 1995). Treatments for the virus were sprouting up with mixed effectiveness. Death was a real — if.... Read More

             

Luis has HIV and is protecting himself against the novel coronavirus, COVID-19

This article originally appeared on the NHCOA blog. Para leer este artículo en español, haga clic aquí.

COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus. That is believed to spread primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

It is also possible for a person to become infected by COVID-19 by touching surfaces or objects that have the virus on them and then touch their own mouth, nose or eyes.

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory.... Read More

             

AIDS Services Know How to Love in a Plague

by John-Manuel Andriote. This article originally appeared on Next Avenue.

(Editor’s note: This story is part of Still Here, Still Positive: A series on the first generation of Americans aging with HIV/AIDS, with support from The John A. Hartford Foundation.)

Just as we gay and bisexual men measured our personal histories in relation to AIDS — starting in 1981 — everyone now speaks of the world, and our lives, “before” and “after” COVID-19.

Organizations created in the 1980s to serve very ill, homebound people with HIV/AIDS are demonstrating in this “after” that there is a greater-than-ever need for what they know about feeding and caring for people with.... Read More

             

Coronavirus Pandemic Exposes Gap in Mental Health Services for Seniors

By Dr. Marcy Adelman. This article originally appeared in the San Francisco Bay Times.

The COVID-19 crisis, and with it the need to shelter in place, have exposed gaps in San Francisco’s services for seniors and LGBTQ seniors in particular.

The city has long established partnerships with community nonprofits with whom they have a successful track record for delivering in-person health and wellness services and programs and peer support groups that reduce social isolation and increase opportunities for program participants to engage, connect, and volunteer in their communities. For people who are not comfortable with in-person experiences, the Institute on Aging provides a phone service for older adults who need someone to listen to their concerns..... Read More

             

HIV/AIDS’ Effect on Aging: Still Unclear

by John-Manuel Andriote. This article originally appeared on Next Avenue.

Craig Washington has never spent a night in the hospital because of HIV. Not even the time in the early ’90s when he got cryptosporidiosis, one of the opportunistic infections that can wreak havoc on someone with a weakened immune system.

The Atlanta-based social worker and therapist’s good health is especially impressive for a 60-year-old man diagnosed with HIV back in 1985 — the year the HIV antibody test first became available.

“For the most part,” said Washington, “I have been very blessed, very fortunate, that my health is pretty good and a lot of the day-to-day energy level I’ve been able to sustain.” He attributes his.... Read More

             

‘We Weren’t Expected to Live This Long’

by Grace Birnstengel. This article originally appeared on Next Avenue.

(Editor’s note: This story is part of Still Here, Still Positive: A series on the first generation of Americans aging with HIV/AIDS, with support from The John A. Hartford Foundation.)

More than 500,000 people over 50 in the U.S. are growing older with the human immunodeficiency viruses (HIV) that, if untreated, cause acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, or AIDS.

While some have contracted HIV/AIDS in their later years (sparse sexual health promotion for older adults is often to blame), the bulk of these survivors were diagnosed decades ago, back in the throes of the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s and 1990s, when.... Read More

             

The Voices of the Silenced

by SAGE Communications. This article originally appeared on the SAGE blog.

When asked to think of the predominant challenges facing people as they age today, the common answers may be physical mobility and accessibility, savings and wealth management, or finding safe, affordable housing. These challenges are increased for LGBT older people, who may face maltreatment due to their sexual orientation or live in fear of discrimination. However, due to incredible advancements in medicine and science, many of the Stonewall generation are now experiencing a far less talked about challenge: aging with HIV.

In the late 90’s at the height of the AIDS epidemic, it was inconceivable to imagine that individuals who were diagnosed would live to.... Read More

             

7 HIV/AIDS Myths We Need to Stop Believing

by Kellee Terrell. This article appears on the Diverse Elders Coalition blog courtesy of Black Health Matters.

I try to live my life by the saying “knowledge is power.”

Knowledge helps us make informed decisions from everything, including who we vote for, what we eat and how we react to our surroundings. This mantra also holds true to our understanding (or lack thereof) of HIV/AIDS. Despite how easily accessible basic information about the epidemic is, there’s still plenty of dangerous misinformation percolating out in the world and our communities.

And I’ve seen it with my.... Read More

             

Honoring older adults living with HIV on National HIV and Aging Awareness Day

Every year on September 18th, National HIV and Aging Awareness Day reminds us of the growing number of long-term survivors of the HIV/AIDS crisis and the increasing numbers of older adults living with HIV. We are honored to share stories from older adults like Vince Crisostomo, Hank Trout, and Helena Buschong, who are living with HIV and documenting their journeys along the way.

The year 2020 has long been noted as a pivotal time for the demographics of people aging with HIV:.... Read More

             
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