National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day
By Becca Stewart
The purpose of National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day is twofold.
First, to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS infection rates among adults aged 50 and older. In 2018, nearly 17% of all new HIV diagnoses in the U.S. were in adults over 50. On this holiday, organizations hope to bring attention to this issue, telling older adults that HIV can infect people of any age, at any stage of their lives.
Second, National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day brings attention to the great medical strides we have made against the disease. Because of advances in treatment and care, people living with HIV/AIDS can now live long lives. Today, more than 50% of all Americans living with HIV/AIDS are 50 or older. However, early detection and treatment remain crucial to helping those infected live long and healthy lives.
Nonprofits Supporting Older Adults Living with HIV/AIDS
As we recognize National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day, we’re highlighting several Top-Rated nonprofit organizations dedicated to serving those living with the disease. Please take a moment to read about these organizations, donate if you’re able, and learn more about prevention efforts and treatment options.
AIDS Assistance Program (AAP Food Samaritans)
Palm Springs, CA
Healthy nutrition plays a vital role in helping patients manage their HIV/AIDS. The AIDS Assistance Program provides food vouchers and nutritional supplementation for low-income men, women, and children living with HIV/AIDS in the Palm Springs area.
Each year, AAP Food Samaritans provides nutritional support for hundreds of clients living with HIV/AIDS and other chronic illnesses.
“I have been a client with AAP since 2005. I am always treated with courtesy and dignity. They have helped me when no one else was able to. This is a good group that treats me very decently and that I do have a purposeful life.”
-John, Client Served
AID Atlanta, Inc.
AID Atlanta helps people infected and affected by HIV/AIDS in and around Atlanta. The organization provides services for people living with the disease, providing support, social services, and medical resources. The program helps more than 7,800 people each year who are living with HIV/AIDS, connecting them with the services they need to remain healthy and thrive.
AID Atlanta also recognizes that prevention and early detection are vital to limiting HIV transmission. That’s why every year, this nonprofit reaches more than 75,000 people through education programs and health fairs, including free HIV testing. AID Atlanta is reducing transmission and promoting early detection through their efforts, which is key to effective medical treatment.
“I have used the services of AID Atlanta for years, and I am so grateful to have them in the community. They are one of the only local organizations offering free HIV & STI testing and treatment, and that is such a valuable resource. The staff are always friendly and polite, and the location is very convenient and easy to access. I also really enjoy the onsite pharmacy and ability to have my prescriptions mailed to me.”
-IgaBall, Client Served
Thrive Alabama has been serving the HIV-positive community in northern Alabama for more than 30 years. This nonprofit transformed from a social services-based organization back in 1988 to a thriving clinic offering free and low-cost healthcare for those living with HIV/AIDS. Today, Thrive Alabama operates three clinics that provide primary and acute care for children, teens, adults, and seniors. The clinics even offer medical care for people who do not have HIV/AIDS, providing a wide range of care for low-income Alabamans.
IN 2018, Thrive Alabama began offering a mobile clinic to reach even more patients throughout the state. This mobile clinic provides free HIV testing and associated healthcare for marginalized and high-risk populations, including those experiencing homelessness.
“The healthcare and support services received at Thrive Alabama have been out of this world. The providers took the necessary time to evaluate my physical, mental and social well-being with thoughtfulness and care. I owe my health and well-being to the staff of Thrive Alabama. I would not have been HIV positive undetectable for 5 years without them.”
-Anonymous, Client Served
EVAN (Eastern Virginia AIDS Network)
EVAN’s mission is to provide comprehensive and compassionate care for Virginians living with HIV/AIDS and those impacted by the disease. The organization takes a multi-tiered approach, offering medical, social, and mental health services to clients as well as educating the public to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS.
By promoting safe sex practices, offering free HIV testing, and raising awareness about HIV in all populations, EVAN is reducing the stigma surrounding AIDS in eastern Virginia. Of course, prevention is key, but for those who are living with HIV/AIDS, early detection can dramatically increase the long-term prognosis. That’s why EVAN also encourages all people, from all backgrounds, to get tested and take precautionary measures.
Most importantly, though, EVAN treats all clients with compassion. Services include housing and food assistance for those living with HIV/AIDS, allowing each individual to live with dignity.
EVAN serves more than 6,000 clients in eastern Virginia each year.
“I am so proud of the staff of EVAN for their commitment to the community. These employees really care about their clients and are concerned about the clients’ needs. As far as I am concerned, they are the best.”
-MBeane, Board Member
If you want to learn more about these organizations or to discover HIV/AIDS helping agencies in your local area, please search our website, GreatNonprofits.org.