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From POZ Magazine:
“HIV Long-Term Survivors Awareness Day is held annually on June 5th on the anniversary of the first published report of what came to be known as AIDS. On June 5, 1981 the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) published a brief account of five young gay men that had been diagnosed with Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP), indicating signs of severely compromised immune systems. The account sent huge shockwaves throughout the LGBT community and eventually, around the world.
2018 is a big year in the lives of survivors. It has been 37 years since the announcement HIV. It is also the 20th anniversary of Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART) that slowed the death rate and turned HIV in to “chronic manageable illness”. Now we are talking about “ending AIDS” while many of us longest term survivors feel forgotten and invisible.
This day is about changing that. It is no longer enough to survive but it is a call to action to THRIVE. It is about being visible. Standing firmly in our remarkable survival and honoring our resiliencies.
We’re Still Here! We are moving forward together. We have plans to make for the next 30 years!”
“The goals of HLTSAD 2018 are:
- HIV and aging are complex and nuanced. HIV Long-Term Survivors (LTS) are aging but constitute a distinct cohort of different medical and psychological challenges including AIDS Survivor Syndrome, poverty, isolation, and invisibility.
- In our haste to End AIDS, prioritize the 2018 modern-day needs of HIV LTS.
- Survivors are a valuable part of our communities; we need to empower them to become the elders, leaders, and teachers.
- Celebrating HIV LTS for enduring an historically unique epidemic and being the pioneers of the AIDS pandemic.
- Prioritize HIV LTS culturally-aware healthcare and mental health.
- Move beyond survival, the goal is aging well with HIV.
- Honoring the resilience and strength, it took survive multiple causalities and unprocessed grief while planning to die.
HASHTAGS: #ItIsStillNotOver #HIV #LongTermSurvivors #HLTSAD2018“