September 18 is National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day

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Sunday, September 18, is the annual observance of National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day (NHAAAD), an opportunity to focus on the HIV prevention, testing, care, and treatment for the aging population, as well as the health and well-being of the growing population of older people living with HIV.

NHAAAD Resources

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about a quarter of Americans living with HIV are age 55 and older. But in cities with early epidemics they account for a majority. In San Francisco, for example, 60% of HIV-positive people are over age 50 and 23% are over 60. As with all age groups, people of color -- especially African-Americans -- are disproportionately affected.

People over age 50 accounted for 17% of new HIV diagnoses in 2014, and 4 in 10 newly diagnosed individuals in this age group were diagnosed with AIDS at the same time, missing out on the benefits of early treatment.

Recent research suggests that HIV-positive people who receive prompt antiretroviral therapy can have a life expectancy similar to that of HIV-negative individuals. But many people who contracted HIV early in the epidemic reached very low CD4 T-cell counts before effective treatment was available, and used poorly tolerated older antiretrovirals, leading to long-term negative health consequences.

Older people with HIV face a number of challenges including higher risk and earlier occurrence of chronic non-AIDS conditions such as cardiovascular disease and certain cancers -- and many also face the effects of living through the worst years of an epidemic that decimated their circle of friends and loved ones.

National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Dayis an opportunity to recommit to addressing the epidemic in this growing population.

9/16/16

Source

CDC. HIV Among People Aged 50 and Older. Fact sheet. Updated September 14, 2016.