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“Aging is a part of life; HIV doesn’t have to be!”

Co-authored by Deb LeBel, Partnerships Specialist

National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day

Did you know September 18, 2010 is the third annual National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day Exit Disclaimer (NHAAAD)? The AIDS Institute Exit Disclaimer provides national leadership for this observance day.

Michael Ruppal, Executive Director at The AIDS Institute, and Michelle Scavnicky, Director of Education, told us about their work related to NHAAAD: “The Institute and its NHAAAD partners nationwide are working to continue raising awareness on the challenging issues facing the aging population with regards to HIV prevention, testing, care and treatment,” Michael said. “This year’s NHAAD theme, ‘Aging is a part of life; HIV doesn’t have to be,’ demonstrates the increased need for prevention, research, and data targeting the aging population, medical understanding of aging, and its impact on HIV/AIDS.”

The campaign focuses on:

  1. People living with HIV/AIDS who are aging with the disease or already over 50 at the time of their diagnosis;
  2. Increasing the use of protection from HIV infection, especially among the baby boomer population; and
  3. The increasing number of grandparents becoming the primary guardians for children who have lost their parent(s) to HIV/AIDS.

The AIDS Institute will offer a webinar about HIV/AIDS and aging on September 17, 2010 (register here Exit Disclaimer).The Institute is also tweeting with the official hashtag #NHAAAD10 Exit Disclaimer and is promoting the day on Facebook. Speaking of using new media, the Pew Internet & American Life Project Exit Disclaimer recently released a report on the growing use of social media among older adultsExit Disclaimer.

Michelle also described some traditional resources for NHAAAD promotion: “We developed a community planning guide (PDF, 549 KB) Exit Disclaimer to help organizations and community members to develop, implement and participate in awareness activities and events on or around September 18. Other tools include the NHAAAD brochure (PDF, 231 KB) Exit Disclaimer, fact sheet (PDF, 144 KB) Exit Disclaimer, five states-at-a-glance document (PDF, 299 KB) Exit Disclaimer and a poster (PDF, 148 KB) Exit Disclaimer for local communities to customize for their events.” Check out The AIDS Institute’s newly redesigned website Exit Disclaimer for these and other resources. If you’re planning a NHAAAD event, be sure to register your event Exit Disclaimer, too.

This conversation reminded our team of an important and informative poster session that The New York State Department of Health Exit Disclaimer presented at the International AIDS Conference Exit Disclaimer in July 2010. In this video Exit Disclaimer, Humberto Cruz and Johanne Morne talk about aging and HIV in their state and the response to these concerns.

With these resources, Michael, Michelle, Humberto, Johanne — and many other individuals and organizations across the country — are calling attention to the fact that “Aging is a part of life; HIV doesn’t have to be!”

What will you do on September 18? For ideas on how to get involved on or around National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day, visit Exit Disclaimer. To learn about HIV and AIDS, visit To find an HIV testing site near you, text your ZIP to “KNOWIT” (566948) or visit Exit Disclaimer.