On every September 18, National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day brings attention to the growing number of people living long, full lives with HIV, and to their health and social needs. It is also a reminder for our aging friends to get tested and know their HIV status.
These three facts from CDC put HIV among older adults into context:
- In 2014, an estimated 45% of Americans living with diagnosed HIV were aged 50 and over.
- An estimated 17% (6,725) of the 39,513 HIV diagnosed in 2015 were among Americans aged 50 and older.
- Compared with younger people, people over the age of 55 who are living with HIV are more likely to know their HIV status and to be virally suppressed.
**People in this age group share many of the same risk factors as younger people.**
The importance of being routinely tested, and starting treatment right away if diagnosed with HIV, can not be stressed enough. For many people, treatment involves one pill per day. These medications not only can help you have a long, healthy life, they also suppress your viral load (number of virus copies in a standardized sample of blood). The lower your viral load is, the lower your chance of transmitting the virus. Most people reach what is called "undetectable" which means you won't pass on the virus to others. For more information about #UequalsU and Undetectectable = Untransmittable, please see: PreventionAccess.org