National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day



September 18th is National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day. It is a day about bringing awareness to the aging population living with HIV and the challenges they face. People with HIV are now able to live longer thanks to medical and scientific advancements that continue to progress every day!


Overview

HIV is a virus that attacks the body’s immune system. Untreated HIV can lead to AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). HIV is transmitted through sexual contact, blood, needles, or from mother to infant. Currently there is no cure for the virus, however it can be controlled with HIV treatment. With proper medical treatment, people living with HIV can live long and healthy lives. HIV medicines are highly effective, making the viral load undetectable. Individuals who maintain an undetectable viral load have little risk of transmitting the disease to others and can live a long and full life.


Symptoms

  • Fever

  • Chills

  • Rash

  • Night sweats

  • Muscle aches

  • Sore throat

  • Fatigue

  • Swollen lymph nodes

  • Mouth ulcers

These symptoms can be the cause of many different illnesses and do not mean you have HIV. See a doctor if you experience any of the symptoms above or if you think you were exposed to HIV.


Statistics according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

  • In 2018, there were 11,425 deaths among people aged 50 and older with diagnosed HIV in the US and dependent areas. These deaths could be from any cause.

  • In 2018, over half (51%) of people in the United States (US) and dependent areas with diagnosed HIV were aged 50 and older.

  • New HIV diagnoses are declining among people aged 50 and older, around 1 in 6 HIV diagnoses in 2018 were in this group.

  • People aged 50 and older with diagnosed HIV are living longer, healthier lives because of effective HIV treatment.

  • From 2014 to 2018, HIV diagnoses decreased 6% overall among people aged 50 and older, with trends varying by sex and transmission category.

  • From 2015 to 2019, HIV diagnoses decreased 9% overall in the US and dependent areas.


References

1. “HIV among People Aged 50 and Over.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 9 Aug. 2021, www.cdc.gov/hiv/group/age/olderamericans/index.html.


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