Right now, the aging population is facing challenges with HIV and AIDS. According to the Centers for Disease Control, “At the end of 2014, an estimated 428,724 people aged 50 and over were living with diagnosed HIV in the United States.” The aging population is characterized as individuals who are 50 years old and above.
What is HIV/AIDS Aging Awareness Day?
HIV/AIDS Aging Awareness Day is a national holiday that focuses on the older generations and their challenges with HIV and AIDS. It’s goal is to focus on the elderly individuals diagnosed with HIV and AIDS. Additionally, it wants to heavily focus on the preventive care measures that many of the infected people can take or use to prevent them from getting worse.
What is HIV and AIDS?
Human Immunodeficiency Virus, better known as HIV, is a virus that hurts a person’s immune system. This type of virus likes to destroys a certain type of white blood cell called T4 or CD4 cells. This white blood cell helps protect one’s immune system by fighting off infections. With few T4 white blood cells in your body, your immune system begins to shut down.
HIV evolves through three stages:
- Stage 1 – Acute HIV Infection: This is the beginning stage where after a couple weeks of getting the infection, individuals begin to feel flu-like symptoms. In this stage, many are unaware that they have HIV and are very contagious.
- Stage 2 – Clinical Latency: In this stage, HIV is active but it’s in a dormant stage for approximately 10-15 years.
- Stage 3 – AIDS: Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, better known as AIDS, is the final and most severe stage. The infection at this stage has worsened and severe symptoms may arise like:
- weight loss
- mouth and skin problems and more.
Learn more about the signs and symptoms of AIDS here. A common misconception is that AIDS is a virus. AIDS is not a virus, it’s a syndrome. A syndrome is “a combination of signs and symptoms that are indicative of a particular disease or disorder,” according to Dictionary.com.
Learn more about this cause and find ways to get involved by vising The National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day.
If you would like to know more about HIV and AIDS in the aging population or to speak with a doctor, call (904)513-3240 or click here to contact us.