HIV Long-Term Survivors Day
Every June 5th is observed as HIV Long-Term Survivors Day. It’s a day that honors all those long-term survivors of this disease and raises public awareness about their struggles, their needs, and the issues they face both in the short term and in the long term.
The creation of this day was in response to the ever-increasing number of survivors of HIV who were defying the odds and living longer than expected. It was conceived as a day for survivors to share their stories with the world and to advocate for increased support and resources for those living with HIV.
The History of HIV Long-Term Survivors Day
This day was first created during the 1990s. During this time, people with HIV were given a limited life expectancy and had to face considerable fear, stigmatization, and discrimination.
Even under these conditions and with a limited number of treatments for HIV, some patients were able to defy the odds and live longer than expected. The date of this day was chosen because this is when the CDC made the first reports in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report of what would later be known as the first cases of AIDS.
Observing HIV Long-Term Survivors Day
Fortunately, thanks to the development of active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), the life expectancy of people living with HIV has increased significantly over the years. There is also less stigmatization of those affected by HIV, although there is still a long way to go until the prejudice surrounding this condition has been fully eradicated. With that said, everyone can do their part to observe this day.
They can do that by donating money to organizations looking for better HIV treatments and by helping raise awareness about HIV and AIDS using the hashtag #HIVLongTermSurvivorsDay on the internet. People can also attend events, share their own personal stories, and look for other ways they can get involved.