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September 18, is the National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day. At The Project, we thought you should know a few reasons why it is important in 2019 to recognize older populations living with HIV.

With the advancement of treatments for HIV/AIDs it is possible for people to live long and healthy lives. According to Target HIV, “this year 45.2% of RWHAP clients were over 50 years old, with a projected upward trend to reach 64% by 2030.” We celebrate that people are living full lives and we want to make sure that they are not forgotten in the narrative of HIV/AIDs.

Prevention education is not just for youth. In 2016, 17% of new HIV diagnoses were among people age 50+. It is important for everyone to know about the steps they can take to prevent HIV at any age.

According to the CDC, “among people aged 55 and older who received an HIV diagnosis in 2015, 50% had been living with HIV for 4.5 years before they were diagnosed—the longest diagnosis delay for any age group.” The delay in diagnosis also means that they have likely sustained more immune system damage. It is important for people of all age groups if they are sexually active to engage in regular testing for HIV/STIs and if they are concerned about exposure to HIV to talk to a physician about PrEP.

Has it been a minute since you have been tested for HIV or STIs? Testing is always free and confidential at The Project of Primary Health Care just give us a call to schedule an appointment.