Image credit: Let's Kick ASS (AIDS Survivors Syndrome), http://bit.ly/2xI21eo
At ACT UP Central PA, we would like to utilize this day to honor HLTS (HIV long-term survivors) and raise awareness of concerns specific to this segment of our community. While we, and the larger HIV advocacy community, do have a certain amount of focus on various prevention, education, and harm-reduction efforts, we never forget HLTS and other members of our community who are living with HIV, regardless of how long we've been living with HIV. They and all those we have lost are always in our hearts and thoughts and they serve as an inspirational motivating force in everything that we do.
AIDS Survivor Syndrome (ASS) is a complex version of PTSD. It can cause survivors to feel like they no longer fit in with a society that they formerly navigated with ease. Internalized stigma, shame, and fear have prompted many of us to live lives of social isolation, depression, anxiety, and even suicide ideation.
Stay safe, love one another, and practice self-care!