JUNE 5 HIV LONG-TERM SURVIVORS AWARENESS DAY

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join the HIV Long-Term Survivors League

HIV Long-Term Survivors Awareness Day is held every June 5. It’s the anniversary of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reporting on June 5, 1981 in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMRW) noted that two people had died from their illnesses. That piece prompted newspapers in San Francisco and New York.about five cases of a rare pneumonia affecting young gay men living in New York and California. It was the beginning of what would later be identified as HIV/AIDS.

Today we know that HIV doesn’t discriminate and impacts people of all ages, races, sexual orientations, and socio-economic backgrounds. Currently 26% of all 1.4 million people living with HIV in the U.S. became positive before 1996, meaning they are long-term survivors.

Currently 26% of all 1.6 million people living with HIV in the U.S. are HIV Long-Term Survivors.

We celebrate those who have defied the odds by living with HIV for decades.

June 5 is about coming together and realizing that we are not alone. It is a national day of storytelling. We want to collect the stories of our lives, resilience, and our survival.

With courage and compassion, we survived the darkest days of the plague. Without access to effective treatments, we were forced to rely on each other and ourselves. As individuals and community, we exhibited strength we didn’t know we had. Now we face the conundrums of aging with HIV.

HIV Long-Term Survivors Awareness day is about celebrating our survival and looking forward to envisioning and create the lives we never imagined we’d live.

We want to change the narrative from surviving to thriving and Healthy Aging with HIV. Long-term survival, once an almost unimaginable concept is now the norm — something that was unimaginable before 1996.

Today 60% of all people living with HIV in the US are over 50. By 2020 that will increase to 70 percent. Aging is the new face of HIV. Yet it feels as though the HIV global Our focus is on ensuring that HIV Long-Term Survivors are front and center in the current HIV dialogue.

HIV and Aging are not a monolith. Pre-HAART survivors and Post-HAART survivors constitute separate cohorts with overlapping but different medical and psychosocial needs. Longest term survivors face unique social and mental health challenges as well as medical issues none of us ever imagined.

We’re the generation who were told to plan to die young. By the end of that year, in the U.S. we witnessed the deaths of 362,004 of our loved ones and community. 6.4 million people had died from AIDS worldwide.

There’s a meme that “we lost an entire generation.” While we did a lot of our generation there are by recent estimates, 26% of Longest-Term Survivors alive now.

Let’s celebrate, honor and appreciate that they still have years go and it is all our job to help them become the best they can be.

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Why June 5?

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