Illinois HIV Care Connect Introduces HIV and Aging Campaign

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Health

In advance of National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day on September 18, Illinois HIV Care Connect introduces its HIV and Aging Campaign. Persons aged 50 and older comprise nearly half of persons living with HIV in Illinois. The campaign’s website content and social media posts will emphasize actions older adults with HIV can take to increase their chances of living long and healthy lives. The 16,198 persons who are 50+ living with HIV in Illinois represent 45 percent of all persons living with HIV in Illinois, according to Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) 2019 data found on the Illinois Getting to Zero HIV Dashboard. About 60 percent of Illinois residents over the age of 50 living with HIV are men who have sex with men, and most are persons of color. The relatively high percentage of persons living with HIV who are aged 50 or older is due to improvements in the effectiveness of treatment with HIV medicine (called antiretroviral therapy or ART). Persons with HIV who are diagnosed early and who get and stay on ART can keep the virus suppressed and live long and healthy lives. “Life for persons living with HIV is significantly different than it was during the early years of the epidemic when those diagnosed with HIV could expect to live only a year or two,” said Michael Maginn, HIV prevention director, Illinois Public Health Association, which manages Illinois HIV Care Connect with funding from the Illinois Department of Public Health. “As a result, we have many survivors who have reached age 50 and beyond. By taking their medications, staying in care and achieving viral suppression, older adults with HIV increase their life expectancy.”

Comments are closed.