BALTIMORE, MD, (September 17, 2012) - The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH), Prevention and Health Promotion Administration (PHPA) joins The AIDS Institute, Older Women Embracing Life (OWEL), the Baltimore City Health Department, Baltimore City Senior Centers, and Johns Hopkins AIDS Education and Training Center (AETC) in recognizing September 18, 2012 as National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day (NHAAAD). This year’s theme is “Aging is a part of life: HIV doesn’t have to be.”
There are more than 1.2 million people living with HIV in the United States. Maryland has the 2nd highest AIDS case rate among all U.S. states and territories. As of December 31, 2010, Maryland had 30,132 known living cases of HIV. There are 11,813 persons, or 39% of all known people living with HIV in Maryland, who are 50 years of age and older. An estimated 7,000-8,000 people in Maryland are HIV positive and do not know their HIV status.
“Thanks in part to more effective medications, individuals living with HIV today can live long, healthy lives,” said Frances Phillips, DHMH Deputy Secretary for Public Health Services.
"According to CDC, by 2015, half of the people living with HIV infection in the U.S. will be 50 years of age or older,” said Deborah McGruder, Director of the DHMH, PHPA, Infectious Disease Bureau (IDB). “We encourage all Marylanders 13 years of age and older to get tested for HIV, get educated about HIV, get treatment and stay on treatment if they have HIV.”
This week, DHMH, IDB stakeholders, OWEL, the Baltimore City Health Department, Baltimore City Senior Centers, and Johns Hopkins AETC will observe NHAAAD with several HIV counseling, testing and referral services, and prevention awareness education activities. Contact your local senior center or call the Baltimore City Office of Aging Care Services 410-369-1605 for activities in your area.
To find out about year round HIV prevention, testing, treatment and support services in Maryland, call 410-767-5227 or visit http://ideha.dhmh.maryland.gov