Washington, DC — Sunday, September 18, 2011 is the fourth annual National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day (NHAAAD). Sponsored by The AIDS Institute, NHAAAD is meant to highlight the complex issues facing prevention, treatment and care for aging populations, emphasizing the need for expanded prevention and research targeting Americans over 50, especially as it relates to understanding the impact of HIV/AIDS on the aging process.
"The National Minority AIDS Council (NMAC) is proud to stand with the entire HIV/AIDS community in commemorating this National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day," said NMAC Deputy Executive Director Daniel C. Montoya. "As a man who has been living with this virus for 24 years, I know first hand the challenges of managing both the disease and the aging process. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that by 2015, half of all people living with HIV in the U.S. will be over the age of 50. As treatments improve, and people with HIV are living longer, we must do more to address the unique challenges facing this age group."
According to the CDC, Americans over the age of 50 account for approximately 17 percent of all new HIV/AIDS diagnoses, 36 percent of all people living with AIDS, 24 percent of all AIDS diagnoses and 45 percent of all deaths of people living with AIDS.
"Communities of color often face higher incidence or risk factors for diseases traditionally associated with aging, including heart disease and cancer," continued Montoya. "Given the disproportionate impact of HIV on these same communities, it is especially important to consider the challenges of addressing this epidemic among aging minority populations. HIV does not care how old you are. On this NHAAAD, it's important that all Americans, young and old, get educated and get tested."
The National Minority AIDS Council (NMAC) represents a coalition of 3,000 faith based and community based organizations as well as AIDS service organizations advocating and delivering HIV/AIDS services in communities of color nationwide. Since 1987, NMAC has developed leadership in communities of color through a variety of advocacy campaigns, public policy education programs, national conferences, research programs, capacity building, technical assistance and trainings, and digital and electronic resource materials. For more information visit www.nmac.org .