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HIV Long-Term Survivor’s Awareness Day

June 5, 2025 at 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

HIV Long Term Survivors Awareness Day

HIV Long-Term Survivors Awareness Day (HLTSAD) is celebrated annually on June 5th.

On June 5, 1981, in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported the first cases of what would later be known as AIDS. In the 1990s with the development of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), also known as combination antiretroviral therapy, the life expectancy of people with HIV has increased significantly.

HIV advocate Tez Anderson, who has been living with HIV since 1983, founded HIV Long-Term Survivors Awareness Day on June 5, 2014, to honor long-term survivors of HIV and raise awareness of their needs, health issues, and journeys. According to the CDC, nearly half of people with HIV in the United States are aged 50 or older, and many were diagnosed with HIV in their younger years.

People with HIV are at increased risk of certain comorbidities compared to people of similar age without HIV. Furthermore, people aging with HIV face both age-related and HIV-related stigma. Long-term survivors of HIV may experience complications associated with long-term treatment or exposure to the virus. The toxicity of many early HIV treatments caused life-altering side effects, including lipodystrophy (fat accumulation or wasting). In addition, research has shown that many aging-related conditions occur more frequently in older people with HIV, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, renal disease, and cancer.

Before the development of HAART, most people with HIV died within two years of the onset of AIDS. Recently, researchers found a nine-year difference in overall life expectancy between people with HIV and those without HIV. The difference was smaller (6.8 years) for people with HIV who initiated treatment when they were still healthy, emphasizing the importance of taking HIV medicines as soon as possible after HIV diagnosis. People with HIV who consistently take antiretroviral therapy can achieve an undetectable viral load, which means they cannot transmit HIV to others, a concept known as Undetectable = Untransmittable, or U=U.

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Date:
June 5, 2025
Time:
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
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