Back HIV Populations HIV & Aging September 18 is National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day

September 18 is National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day


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.



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