The AIDS Institute (TAI) is proud to announce that the 4th annual National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day (NHAAAD) will take place on September 18th. The campaign theme is "Aging is a part of life; HIV doesn't have to be."

In 2009, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention HIV/AIDS Surveillance Report published that persons aged 50 and older accounted for approximately: 17% of new HIV/AIDS diagnoses, 36% of persons living with AIDS, 24% of all AIDS diagnoses and 45% of all deaths of persons with AIDS. As a society we need to dispel myths and stereotypes and acknowledge that the older population might be engaging in behaviors that put them at risk for HIV infection, such as being sexually active and/or using drugs.

Since the beginning, NHAAAD has highlighted the complex issues related to HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment for aging populations in the United States. The day consists of different educational, awareness and HIV testing activities or events programmed all around the nation to take place on or around September 18th.

"NHAAAD is a comprehensive campaign. The AIDS Institute ensures that organizations and collaborators have all of the necessary tools and information to not only design Awareness day events or activities, but also be able to implement and evaluate them," comments Marylin Merida, President of The AIDS Institute's Board of Directors.

On September 15th, in recognition of the NHAAAD, three major health organizations expressed their continued commitment to advancing the care and treatment of older adults with HIV. The American Academy of HIV Medicine (AAHIVM), the AIDS Community Research Initiative of America (ACRIA) and the America Geriatrics Society (AGS) have worked together to create the HIV & Aging Consensus Project. Key objectives include the assessment of how the presence of both HIV and common age-associated diseases alter the optimal treatment of HIV as well as treatment for co-morbidities. A report titled, The HIV and Aging Consensus Project: Recommended Treatment Strategies for Clinicians Managing Older Patients with HIV is slated to be released in early October. The report will be used to guide HIV practitioners and other medical professionals who treat older patients with HIV disease on best practices for diagnosing, treating, and referring older adults with HIV.

"It is exciting to see collaborations like ACRIA, AAHIVM and AGS come together and recognize the importance of developing guidelines in treating older adults with HIV. With older adults living with the disease longer and individuals getting infected over the age of 50, we know there are many other age-associated factors in which to consider. We are happy to see that NHAAAD has helped enhance the issue of addressing the medical aspect of older adults and HIV," states Michael Ruppal, Executive Director at The AIDS Institute.

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