Celebrating National HIV/AIDS & Aging Awareness Day

An elderly woman collects HIV drugs for her grandchildren at the Ishiara clinic in Kenya.

Georgina Goodwin/EGPAF

Today, we celebrate National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day. Over the years, advances in HIV/AIDS care and treatment have made it possible for people infected with HIV to live long and happy lives.

But a new study from Keele University in the United Kingdom shows that older people living with HIV face age-related stigma.  According to the study, in addition to normal health challenges that come with aging, older people living with HIV face compounded health problems both as a result of HIV and as possible side effects of antiretroviral (ARV) medications.

Research also shows that many older people living with HIV were ashamed of their status and unlikely to tell even close family for fear of being a burden. As access to life-saving HIV/AIDS care and treatment expands throughout the world, monitoring how the HIV epidemic affects all age groups will be critical to our continuing efforts to create an AIDS-free generation.

To learn more about how EGPAF’s work helps expand access to critical HIV/AIDS treatment, please click here.

Jane Coaston is Media Relations Coordinator for the Foundation, based in Washington, D.C.