When members of our diverse elder communities work together, it feels like there is so much power, shared history, and ambition in the room. We’ve loved hearing stories of multiple organizations getting together to work on issues around the White House Conference on Aging, for example, like our May 7th Listening Session in Los Angeles. Coalition- and community-building are so important to the vitality of our constituencies. At the Diverse Elders Coalition, we’re really glad to be making these connections and amplifying the voices of our communities.
The effects of HIV on the Caribbean Diaspora and Caribbean-American communities in the U.S. are devastating. Just like other diverse communities, health disparities— including diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and HIV/AIDS— as well as access to health care are prevalent in this population. Given that the U.S. Caribbean-American population is also underrepresented in national data and statistics as many are grouped under the African-American demographic, it is important to commemorate yearly events such as the National Caribbean-American HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NCAHAAD) to promote health education, engagement, and HIV testing among diverse communities.
Every year on June 8, Caribbean-American leaders across the country sponsor.... Read More
When we unveiled our request for stories for the new Diverse Elders Stories Initiative back in April, I wasn’t sure what kind of responses we would get. What are the challenges facing our elders and their communities? How can we put those challenges into concise, thoughtful stories? Would anyone write to us at all?
Thankfully, Mikael Wagner arrived to assuage my fears. He sent us his story within a week of our call for submissions – the first person to do so – and it was everything I could have hoped for in a story. Mikael was diagnosed with.... Read More
Older Adults with HIV and the White House Conference on Aging
by Mark Brennan-Ing, Director for Research and Evaluation at ACRIA and the ACRIA Center for HIV and Aging.
The year 2015 marks a watershed moment in the HIV epidemic.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that this year, fully half of those aging with HIV will be over the age of 50. As we reach this benchmark, preparations are underway for the 2015 White House Conference on Aging (WHCOA), which may represent the first WHCOA where the issue of HIV and aging will be addressed.
The 2015 Aging in America Conference wraps up today in Chicago, IL. This week has provided a unique opportunity for the Diverse Elders Coalition and its members to share their work and connect with thousands of other participants from around the country working on issues of concern for elders. As a first time attendee, I was particularly impressed with (and maybe a bit overwhelmed by) the size and scope of the conference.
I kicked off the conference on the first day with a morning session talking about HIV/AIDS as part of an inter-generational dialogue entitled “Being Gay Ain’t What it Used to Be” with my colleague and friend, Read More
LGBT Health Awareness Week: It’s Time To Come Together
March 23-27 marks National LGBT Health Awareness Week, and we at the Diverse Elders Coalition are excited to raise awareness about the issues facing the LGBTQ communities, especially LGBT older people. The National Coalition for LGBT Health created National LGBT Health Awareness Week in 2003 to promote increased health awareness and outcomes in the LGBT community and promote the need for greater cultural competency in the healthcare system. This year’s theme is “Time to Come Together: Trust, Transparency, Truth.”
Throughout the Week, the Coalition brings together national and state LGBT organizations, health centers, health departments, universities, health organizations, clinical and behavioral.... Read More
National Native HIV/ AIDS Awareness Day: New Mexico’s Take
March 20th – the first day of spring – marks the 9th annual National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, a national mobilization effort designed to encourage Natives (American Indians, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians) across the United States and Territorial Areas to get educated, get tested, get involved in prevention, and get treated for HIV and AIDS. The Diverse Elders Coalition is commemorating this important day by offering resources to our constituents and encouraging everyone to get tested and #GetCovered. Remember that American Indians and Alaskan Natives can enroll in Marketplace coverage under the ACA at any time of year – no need to wait for a designated enrollment period.
Native Americans are 0.9 percent of the U.S..... Read More
The Diverse Elders Coalition and its five coalition member organizations will all be represented at this year’s Aging in America Conference. In the weeks leading up to the conference, we will be sharing blog posts from coalition members who are presenting or attending ASA, and what it means to them. This week’s post comes from Aaron Tax, JD, Director of Federal Government Relations at SAGE.
In approximately one week, I will be heading to the American Society on Aging convention in Chicago to present on, among other things, HIV/aging, along with HIV and aging experts Mark Brennan-Ing, Richard Gollance, Ron Swanda, and Ben de Guzman of the Diverse Elders Coalition. The.... Read More
Collecting Stories from Our Communities: The Diverse Elders Stories Initiative
Some of our greatest tools to make positive change on behalf of our constituents are stories from older adults, their loved ones, advocates and community members that illustrate the struggles and triumphs of aging as people of color or LGBTQ people. We share these stories with the public on our blog and through social media to raise awareness of the issues that affect diverse elders. Your stories also allow us to show policymakers the faces behind their proposed policies and programs. With your stories, we are able to advocate for the needs of diverse elders more effectively.
Throughout my time in healthcare education and advocacy, particularly when working with LGBT people and people of color, I have heard so many heartbreaking stories about HIV/AIDS. Living in fear, losing friends and family, lack of information about and access to care – the specter of this disease looms large, particularly over those underserved communities. I remember watching Marlon Riggs’ “Ethnic Notions” in college and then being devastated to learn that we had lost this powerful and talented voice to the AIDS epidemic. This disease has taken far too many of our friends, family members, heroes, and compatriots.