The post is made possible by support from the Let’s Stop HIV Together Campaign. As always, all opinions are my own.
Did you know that people aged 50 and over account for almost 20% of HIV diagnoses in the U.S.? We rarely think about HIV in relation to this group—but we should. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), those 50+ have many of the same HIV risk factors as younger people, but are less likely to get tested, and as a result, are subject to higher mortality rates than their younger counterparts.
Did you know it only takes one time of unprotected sex to acquire HIV. One time.
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National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day is September 18.
The stigma associated with HIV is one of the underlying reasons for low testing rates within this age group. Stigma leads to the marginalization of those who are positive, decreased testing due to the fear of a positive diagnosis, fear of disclosing status, and getting treatment, and fewer conversations about safe sex.
HIV is something we need to raise awareness of, about while advocating for those most affected. #stopHIVtogether is the campaign hashtag to follow along for campaign information. The is the first national awareness and anti-stigma campaign for people living with HIV.
Decades ago, a positive diagnosis essentially meant a death sentence but not so anymore. People can live fulfilling lives with proper treatment.
One of the things we can do to as a society to help end the stigma of HIV/AIDS and help to raise awareness if be mindful of the language we use when we talk about HIV. Using words with negative meanings add to an increased negative perception of stigma, fear, and discrimination. We can do our part by being thoughtful in our choice of words and choosing to use supportive words when talking about HIV.
Visit the CDC you learn more and get involved.