New Video Series Spotlights Older PLHIV
Now that the AIDS pandemic is forty years old, more than sixty percent of the people living with HIV in the U.S. are over the age of fifty. To raise awareness of the aging population of PLHIV, GLAAD, Native Son, and Gilead Sciences’ HIV Age Positively program announced on November 3, 2021, that they have teamed up for a series of weekly videos aimed at raising awareness of older PLHIV.
The videos, posted weekly to GLAAD’s and Native Son’s Instagram pages from November 3 through World AIDS Day on December 1, present personal stories and advocacy solutions from the community-based organizations that receive grants from Gilead’s HIV Age Positively program to further their work to provide essential services to older PLHIV. The videos will feature a diverse range of grantee voices, including Rev. Claude Bowen of Thrive SS in Atlanta; Michelle Lopez of HIV Treatment Works in New York City; Jeff Berry of Test Positive Aware Network (TPAN) in Chicago; Kirk Myers, the Founder & CEO of Abounding Prosperity in Dallas; and Bamby Salcedo, M.A, the President & CEO of the [email protected] Coalition in Los Angeles.
Also on November 3, the HIV Age Positively program entered its next round of funding, providing $16.6 million to twenty-four organizations across eleven states to support people living with HIV who are over the age of fifty. From its inception in 2018, Gilead’s HIV Age Positively has awarded more than $34.2 million in grants to forty-two community-based, grassroots organizations who are investing in three guiding pillars: improving care coordination, increasing resources for well-being, and educating and informing policy to improve the quality of life for those who are aging with HIV. So far, HIV Age Positively has helped organizations intentionally address stigma, loneliness and better coordination of care.
“Gilead is proud to support these local community-based organizations who are working on behalf of aging PLWH over 50,” Brett Pletcher, Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs and General Counsel, Gilead Sciences, said in a press release. “This next round of grant funding will expand care and well-being services and support advocacy for robust policy changes that we hope will help to meet the urgent and growing needs of this unique community.”
DaShawn Usher, Associate Director, Communities of Color, at GLAAD, said, “We need the media to include the voices of older people living with HIV and the advocates fighting for their care, to amplify the facts necessary to stopping the epidemic, and correct the misinformation that fuels discrimination, stigma and new infections.”
Native Son harnesses the collective power of Black gay/queer men with the goal of ensuring that their voices, visibility and lived experiences are elevated in all of the communities in which they exist and never again disregarded. “We are thrilled to celebrate the lives and acknowledge the unique challenges facing people aging with HIV,” said Emil Wilbekin, Founder of Native Son. “Gilead’s HIV Age Positively and GLAAD are playing an invaluable role fueling the worthiness and purpose of this community wherever they exist.”
For more information on the Gilead HIV Age Positively program, including a full list of its grantees, visit www.gilead.com/purpose/partnerships-and-community/hiv-age-positively.