June 5 is HIV Long-Term Survivors Awareness Day (HLTSADExit Disclaimer). First observed in 2014, it’s a day to honor long-term survivors of HIV and raise awareness about their needs, issues, and journeys.
The selection of June 5 for this annual observance coincides with the anniversary of the first official reporting of what became known as the AIDS epidemic on June 5, 1981. When the CDC first reported on five cases of a mysterious disease affecting young gay men. June 5, 1981 is considered the start of the AIDS pandemic.
Today, HIV Long-Term Survivors (HLTS) represent a diverse group of people diagnosed with HIV before the advent of Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy or HAART in 1996. They make up about 25% of all people living with HIV and AIDS. 1.2 million people are living with HIV in the U.S. That makes about 300,000 long-term survivors, defined as individuals who acquired HIV before 1996 and the introduction of HAART.
HLTS includes people born with HIV or who acquired the virus as babies and are now in their 30s and 40s. HLTS are also those living with HIV and AIDS for over 25 years.
Visit the HLTSAD websiteExit Disclaimer for more information about the awareness day. This observance day is led by LKAExit Disclaimer, an organization that also created a safe space online to help individuals find peer support. Request to join the Facebook group hereExit Disclaimer
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CDC’s Let’s Stop HIV Together campaign includes resources and partnerships aimed at stopping HIV stigma and promoting HIV testing, prevention, and treatment. The campaign motivates adults to get tested for HIV and know their status.
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Watch this Facebook Live video for tips on using social media for HIV/AIDS observances.
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