More Americans living with HIV are living longer than ever, thanks to effective medical treatment. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), over half of people in the U.S. with diagnosed HIV were aged 50 and older. September 18 is National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day—a time to call attention to the growing number of people living long and full lives with HIV and to aging-related challenges of HIV prevention, testing, treatment, and care.
A key issue for those over 50 is management of HIV treatment along with medications for age-related conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and arthritis. Researchers foresee a “silver tsunami” of multimorbidity, polypharmacy, and health care costs for U.S. residents living with HIV in the coming years. At Amida Care, over 40 percent of our members are over the age of 50, a percentage that continues to increase. We have long been aware of the urgent need for tackling the issue of aging and HIV.
Last year the NY State Senate passed the Hoylman Bill to Assist Older LGBTQ New Yorkers that adds older LGBTQ New Yorkers and those living with HIV/AIDS to the definition of communities of “greatest social need” for the purpose of providing state services and programs for the aging. We need more legislation like this across the country.
Every year, Americans living with HIV are living longer and better. The U.S. health care system must adapt quickly to keep up with this population and ensure that they can access the care they need to continue living and thriving!