Nearly half of people living with HIV in the United States are 50 or older, and National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day is coming up Friday, September 18. In observance of the day, you can participate in two virtual (and free!) discussions held the day before and featuring Anthony Fauci, MD, whom you likely recognize as a member of the White House’s coronavirus task force; AIDS United’s Ronald Johnson; POZ’s editor-in-chief Oriol R. Gutierrez Jr.; and a variety of specialists, advocates and long-term survivors. Here are the details:
“Aging With HIV: Surviving Another Pandemic”
Time: Noon to 5 p.m. EST, Thursday, September 17
Hosted by: GMHC’s National Resource Center on HIV and Aging
Speakers: The two keynote speakers are Fauci, who is also the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Johnson, a senior policy fellow at AIDS United. Additional speakers are:
- Kelsey Louie, MSW, MBA, the CEO of GMHC
- Jonathan S. Appelbaum, MD, of the Florida State University College of Medicine
- Mark Brennan-Ing, PhD, of the Brookdale Center for Healthy Aging at Hunter College, the City University of New York
- Margaret Danilovich, PhD, of the Leonard Schanfield Research Institute in Chicago
- Meredith Greene, MD, of the University of California San Francisco Division of Geriatrics
- Stephen Karpiak, PhD, of GMHC and the New York University School of Nursing
- Mark Milano, of GMHC and an older person living with HIV
- Ina Park, MD, of the University of California, San Francisco
- Eugenia Siegler, MD, of Weill Cornell Medicine’s Geriatrics & Palliative Medicine.
Topics of Discussion: COVID-19’s effect on older adults living with HIV; addressing loneliness, food scarcity and social isolation; access to geriatric care; exercise programs; updates on HIV treatments; and much more.
“Older people living with HIV are now facing the dual threats of COVID-19 and comorbidities connected to aging with HIV,” said GMHC’s Louie in a press release from the longtime AIDS service organization originally known as Gay Men’s Health Crisis. “This webinar will provide an unprecedented opportunity to hear from leading experts about how to reduce the risks to health and well-being from both diseases while building resilience.”
Older adults living with HIV “are exhibiting higher rates of illnesses associated with aging—cardiovascular, liver and kidney diseases, cancers, frailty and osteoporosis,” added Karpiak, GMHC’s lead researcher on HIV and aging. “They are socially isolated due to HIV/AIDS stigma and find themselves especially impacted by the COVID-19 epidemic, which exacerbates their already high rates of depression, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and loneliness as they age.”
The GMHC webinar is free, but advanced registration is required. You can do so by clicking here.
Below is the information about the POZ at Home event.
“HIV and Aging”
Time: 7 p.m., EST, Thursday, September 17
Hosted by: POZ at Home
Speakers: POZ editor-in-chief leads a discussion with long-term survivors and advocates:
- Sherri Lewis spent her 20s as a singer and entertainer in New York City. She was diagnosed with HIV in 1987 after going for a routine blood test for a marriage license. For the past 30 years, Sherri has been an activist and has shared her story in POZ, A&U Magazine and The Washington Post and on TheBody.com. Click here to read POZ’s May 2008 cover story on Lewis.
- Derrick Mapp works as a senior services care navigator and health counselor at the Shanti Project in San Francisco. He is dedicated to working and volunteering for advocacy efforts for HIV and cancer as well as the LGBT community. He is involved with several HIV-related research networks and advocacy groups, such as the HIV Vaccine Trials Network, the AIDS Clinical Trials Group and the National Cancer Institute’s AIDS Malignancy Consortium.
- Jeff Taylor is a long-term survivor who has been active in HIV research advocacy since enrolling in the first AZT trials in the late ’80s. He is currently the executive director of the HIV+ Aging Research Project–Palm Springs, which conducts patient-centered, community-based research in California’s Coachella Valley. Taylor sits on several community advisory boards including that of the Collaboratory of AIDS Researchers for Eradication (CARE), and he’s also on the AIDS Treatment Activists Coalition’s Drug Development Committee. Click here to read POZ’s September 2019 cover story on Taylor.
This episode of POZ at Home will focus on the challenges of growing older while living with HIV. The event is free, and you can register at pozathome.com/registration. The episode will also stream live on the POZ Facebook page.
POZ at Home is a series of Zoom events that bring the community together to discuss HIV-related topics. You can watch recordings of previous discussions, including “Coping With COVID-19 and HIV,” “When Is Fat Not Just Fat: A Discussion About Hard Belly and Visceral Fat” and “Pioneering Researchers Talk AIDS History.”