With improvements in the treatment of HIV more people are living into midlife and older age. By the year 2015 it is anticipated that half of those infected will be over the age of fifty.
While increased longevity brings new hope, it also raises unanticipated challenges. There is very little medical research on the science of HIV and aging. People over age fifty are more likely to face multiple co-morbid conditions and have much higher rates of depression, fewer social supports, and lower quality of life than younger people with the virus. Many, who never thought they would live to midlife, are ill prepared for the realities of aging and fatigued from years of loss and trauma.
Optimal aging with HIV involves renewed involvement in health care, developing new adaptive coping strategies and rebuilding social supports. How do people who never anticipated living into midlife overcome these obstacles and improve their lives?
People living with HIV in midlife and beyond have unique strengths to face the challenges of aging with HIV. The AHA project taps individual resources and uses the power of small group interaction to raise awareness, share information, receive emotional support, provide mutual aid, and advocate for change.
The AHA project can help you start a group tailored to the needs of your community. Advocacy, education, support and empowerment through group discussion – That’s the AHA project.
Spread the word.