This post is made possible by support from the Let’s Stop HIV Together campaign. All opinions are my own.
Did you know that there is a group of Americans at risk right now? The group is adults ages 50 years and older. You may be wondering what they are at risk for? Heart disease, stroke, diabetes, etc….and the answer is yes…they probably are at risk for those things. BUT…there is another disease that they are at risk for that no one seems to be mentioning…HIV and AIDS!!
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Don't Compromise Your Health Due to Stigma
As a registered nurse I am very aware that there is still a stigma attached to HIV/AIDS despite all the efforts at education over the past 20-30 years. People over age 50 have to be told…don't compromise your health due to a ridiculous social stigma!
Because of this social stigma, adults 50 and over are much less likely to get tested for HIV/AIDS. The result is this age group has a much higher mortality rate than younger groups. Find out even more about the risks for people over 50 by reading about it HERE.
What Can You Do
HIV and AIDS have not gone away despite the lack of press the diseases now receive. This is still an area that desperately needs attention.
Our society has to remove the stigma associated with HIV and AIDS. People have to feel comfortable getting tested, disclosing their status and receiving treatment.
Did you know that HIV is NOT a death sentence anymore? There are more than a million people in the USA living with HIV as we speak.
You can encourage people you know in the 50+ age bracket to get tested! It is free and confidential!! You can find a location near you by visiting the CDC website HERE.
If you hear someone talking about HIV/AIDS in a negative way….stand up and remind them that this is a disease that doesn't discriminate against race, gender or age!
Real People Real Stories
When you hear someone's personal story it can lead you to empathy and understanding. There are real people, everyday people, just like you and me….living with HIV and AIDS.
Take some time and listen to their stories. I think this will help reduce the stigma attached to HIV! Remember that this disease affects real people.
Watch Teresa's story to help you catch a glimpse of a real person living with HIV.
If you are reading this post and you have never been tested for HIV….I implore you to take that small step forward. Don't compromise your health by ignoring this area. Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to HIV!
Don't be afraid to get tested. Knowledge can lead to LIFE when it comes to this disease! People are living longer and healthier lives when they are treated for HIV early!