Sunday was HIV Long-term Survivors Day. The day, which coincides with the anniversary of the first report of HIV, celebrates the resilience and strengths of people who have been living with HIV for many years.
It’s also a reminder that many of us will soon be long-term survivors because all of us living with HIV are also aging with HIV.
Indeed, more than half the people living with HIV today are over 50 years-old. The Health Resources and Service Administration estimates that by 2030 two-thirds of the people served by the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program will be above 50.
AIDS United released in 2020 a policy paper outlining the advocacy priorities for meeting the needs of older adults living with HIV.
The overall principles found in that paper are that our advocacy must address the various inequities and disparities affecting older adults living with HIV. Policies, the document says, “must address the various social determinants that affect the health and well-being of older adults living with HIV.”
AIDS United has recently expanded our work in this area by partnering with the HIV & Aging Policy Action Coalition. The coalition advances policies that meet the needs of long-term survivors of HIV and LGBTQ+ older people living with HIV.
The coalition is composed of people over 50 living with HIV and other long-term survivors.
The coalition will work to ensure access to care and quality of life for older adults living with HIV and long-term HIV survivors. The coalition will also work to update the policy paper.
The work of the coalition is funded in part by a grant from Gilead.