As I write this article, slightly more than a month before my 65th birthday, I wish was eagerly anticipating a lovely fun-filled celebration. But I know better. I will most likely spend the day in bed with the covers pulled over my head, wondering, “What the hell happened?!”
Not that long ago—although it feels like a lifetime—I was a very active, respected wrestler and amateur MMA fighter—I have a championship belt hanging on my wall that I won in an eight-man MMA tournament in 2001 at age forty-eight. Today,.... Read More
Commemorating National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day 2016
Each year on September 18th, we commemorate National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day, a chance to recognize that HIV/AIDS impacts people of all ages, including adults over 50. In fact, by the year 2020, more than 70% of people living with HIV in the United States will be age 50 or older, and 18% of new HIV diagnoses occur among people over 50. It is important to promote both HIV prevention among older adults as well as support the health and social needs of those who are living with the disease.
The Diverse Elders Coalition has a number of resources available on our website.... Read More
On National HIV/Aging Awareness Day: Alarming Statistics
Did you know that SAGE created the first HIV/AIDS support group for older adults? In honor of National Gay Men’s HIV Awareness Day, we’re reposting this blog from SAGE about the ways they’re working to improve the quality of life for our LGBT elders with HIV. More information is also available on the Diverse Elders Coalition’s HIV and Aging webpage.
From establishing America’s first HIV/AIDS support group for older adults, to igniting changes in national policy, Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) leads the fight against this epidemic in the aging community. On this National HIV/Aging Awareness Day, 50% of Americans living with HIV will be.... Read More
On April 3, 2008, my longtime friend Don (last name withheld) tested positive for HIV, the same day as his mother’s 56th birthday. He remembers the day vividly. “I had given blood to my doctor and a couple weeks later, I still hadn’t received a call. I called my doctor’s office and they said, ‘There’s an anomaly with your blood.’ I immediately freaked out and thought, ‘God, this is it.'” Don took the last appointment of the day and a few hours later received his diagnosis, along with a few referrals. He went home “to pull myself together, call my mom and wish her a happy birthday.” He wouldn’t share his HIV status with his mother for several years.
The AID Institute’s 7th annual National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day (NHAAAD) will be observed September 18, 2014 with the theme “Aging is a part of life; HIV doesn’t have to be!” For more information about HIV/AIDS and older Americans or to become involved with the campaign, visit www.NHAAAD.org.
Among diverse communities, the stigma of HIV is a cause of shame, embarrassment, and worse of all, denial and silence. When denial and silence are present, the lack of communication and information lead to myths and misinformation. Worst of all, silence results in increased infections and is inevitably compounded by stigma, which leads to people living with HIV who are undiagnosed and therefore, untreated.
September 18 marks the annual National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day, a day to shine a spotlight on HIV/AIDS and its impact on the aging body. The Diverse Elders Coalition and our member organizations know well that this disease greatly affects our nation’s older people. In fact, adults 50 years of age and older make up the fastest growing population with HIV, and by 2015, more than half of Americans living with HIV/AIDS will be over 50.
While individuals with HIV/AIDS are living longer lives, older adults have more than three other (usually chronic) health conditions in addition to HIV versus their age peers without HIV. As a result, they have a host of health and services needs.... Read More