Monday, September 18, marks National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day 2023, searchable on social media as #HIVandAging and #NHAAD. Events and campaigns highlight the fact that older adults make up the largest age group of people living with HIV. Founded by The AIDS Institute, #HIVandAging Day offers a chance to advocate for this population and their unique needs and challenges.
Embedded throughout this article are sample posts related to this year’s awareness day.
Today in the US is National HIV/AIDS & Aging Awareness Day #HIVandAging It’s more important than ever to prioritize the unique needs of this population. You can find out more on this #HIVConnect episode with @TezAnderson and Dr. Jonathon Appelbaum https://t.co/BpCniqHYuG pic.twitter.com/2nDTi5Qqz0— Kalvin Pugh (@kalvin_pugh) September 18, 2023
“With advanced treatment options, HIV-positive individuals are living longer lives,” states NHAAD.org. “However, the interactions between aging and degeneration caused by HIV have become a public health concern that needs to generate appropriate awareness and education. Efforts to expand HIV prevention messages for older adults should also include information and resources about linking newly diagnosed individuals to care while also advocating to ensure these individuals have appropriate access to care and treatment.
In 2021, there were 441,259 people ages 55 and older living with HIV, representing 41% of the U.S. population living with HIV, according to AIDSVU.org, which creates interactive maps and graphics based on the latest HIV data.
People living with HIV face new challenges as they get older. This episode of the Health Equity Forum Podcast highlights how HIV affects them, like treatment and care, comorbidities and coinfections, and other complications: https://t.co/lvbjduRN6Q #HIVANDAGING #StopHIVTogether pic.twitter.com/5sVyFYtSfo— FDA Minority Health and Health Equity (@FDAHealthEquity) September 18, 2023
Among older people living with HIV in 2021, AIDSVu notes that:
- 84% were linked to care;
- 74% received care;
- 68% were virally suppressed—the highest viral suppression rate out of all age groups. However, this still falls short of the Ending the Epidemic (EHE) Initiative’s goal of increasing viral suppression among people with diagnosed HIV to 95% by 2025;
- 34% were diagnosed late, the highest percentage of late diagnoses among all age groups.
What’s more, between 2021 and 2022, there was a 22% increase in the number of people in this age group using PrEP, or pre-exposure prophylaxis, the daily pills and long-acting injectables that prevent HIV.
TODAY is National HIV/AIDS & Aging Awareness Day, a day to combat stigma faced by older Americans with HIV and address aging-related challenges of HIV testing, prevention, and care. https://t.co/mZwENC7foa #NHAAD #StopHIVTogether pic.twitter.com/oNGzuYSBZX— Engaging Arkansas Communities (@EngagingAR) September 18, 2023
“Older adults living with HIV face additional challenges related to treatment given age-related chronic conditions, including cardiovascular disease, lung disease, obesity and more,” writes AIDSVu. “Stigma stemming from isolation due to a lack of social support and/or illness may also prevent older individuals from accessing HIV-related health care or disclosing their HIV status.”
For more information on this topic, read the AIDSVu interviews with Sonya Arreola, PhD, MPH, on Gay Men and Aging and Mark Brennan-Ing, PhD, on HIV, Aging, and Health Equity.
Today is #NHAAD, a day to address HIV’s impact on adults 50 & older. With advances in treatment, people with HIV are living longer, healthier lives. Learn more at https://t.co/8Uo6jpMsDo . #HIVandAging pic.twitter.com/P5ocx9tHnz— Jessie Trice CHS (@JessieTriceCHS) September 18, 2023
????️⚧️ We’re honoring trans elders & trancestors on #NHAAD. Ft. @cecilia_c_chung, Tatiana Williams, Tori Cooper, and @TransDivaChandi— translashmedia (@translashmedia) September 18, 2023
???? Access more #HIV #AIDS resources here: https://t.co/c7Kq1IClPW #transtwitter #transrightsarehumanrights pic.twitter.com/Ik8arVQCBD
In related news, you can join a webinar at noon, Monday, September 18, presented by the Department of Housing and Urban Development that focuses on HIV, aging and housing. For more details, and other #NHAAD resources, visit this HIV.gov POZ blog.
And for a collection of similar POZ articles, click #Aging, where you’ll find items such as “Positively Aging Project: 8Th Annual Conference on HIV & Aging,” about a virtual event Saturday, September 23.
And don’t miss the cover story “Aging With HIV” in the September issue of POZ, in which long-term survivors share their journeys. (This issue features two separate covers, including one created for the 2023 U.S. Conference on HIV/AIDS, held earlier this month. The theme of the conference was “A Love Letter to Black Women.”)