Today, June 5, marks the first annual National HIV/AIDS Long-Term Survivors Awareness Day (NHALTSAD). Sponsored by Let’s Kick ASS in San Francisco, NHALTSAD was established to commemorate long-term survivors of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and to raise awareness about AIDS Survivor Syndrome.
The theme of this year’s NHALTSAD – We’re Still Here – is meant to honor those who lived through the AIDS epidemic during the 1980s and 1990s. Organizers hope the campaign will resonate with the estimated 60,000 Americans who have been living with HIV for more than 25 year. “AIDS Survivor Syndrome and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder among [AIDS] survivors is very real,” said NHALTSAD organizers. Long-term survivors feel forgotten and increasingly hopeless. Some are ending their lives rather than live on with survivor’s guilt, depression and anxiety associated with post-traumatic stress.”
Let’s Kick ASS has also produced a poignant video to underscore the commemoration. The video features testimonials from several HIV/AIDS survivors about their experiences with the disease and also includes footage from the National AIDS Memorial Grove in San Francisco.
To learn more about National HIV/AIDS Long-Term Survivors Awareness Day and to find a commemorative event near you, visit www.nhaltsad.org. Check out HRC's Health & Aging Program for a full list of resources to keep you and your loved ones healthy and safe.