National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day
Currently, 59% of people living with HIV in the U.S. are over 50 years of age, and its estimated that by 2030 that number will increase to 70%. UNAIDS estimates that more than 8 million people over 50 years of age are living with HIV worldwide. People aging with HIV face unique challenges: clinical, psychosocial, financial and logistical. We acknowledge these challenges while also celebrating the resiliency and strength of people aging with HIV.

HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day brings these issues to the forefront every year on Sept. 18. ANAC member Veronica Brady talks about this day and why it's important in her research.

ANAC has developed online, on-demand learning modules for healthcare providers and the community about aspects of aging with HIV. View the modules.
Veronica Brady, PhD, RN, FNP-BC, BC-ADM, CDCES, FADCES (she/her)
Assistant Professor
University of Texas Health
Years as an ANAC member: 2
Houston Gulf Coast Chapter member
DEI Committee member

What does National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day mean to you?
To be able to have an HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day is a cause for celebration and reflection. It means that people with/ affected by HIV/AIDS are living, thriving and surviving long enough to "age". It means a time to look back on where we have been and forward to where we want to go in the battle to end the HIV epidemic.

This day is a time for us to focus and reflect on the number of issues facing older adults with HIV. One of the issues that I focus on in my research is type 2 diabetes (T2D). As the numbers of people aging with HIV increase, the incidence/prevalence of T2D will also increase. Thus, we must have the resources available to meet this need. Sept. 18 is a time to draw attention to the issues facing this population and increase awareness among providers, patients and families that aging with HIV increases risk of coinfections, comorbidities and complications.

Why did you join the fight to end HIV/AIDS?
I joined the fight to end HIV/AIDS after learning about the impact of HIV/AIDS on my work as a diabetologist. Prior to accepting my current position as a researcher, I had no idea that HIV/AIDS impacted the lives of so many. In my practice, I never asked any questions related to diagnosis/prevention or treatment of HIV/AIDS; therefore, it did not exist. After being exposed to HIV/AIDS research, I knew that there was a place for me to explore the intersection between diabetes and HIV.

What words of wisdom might you pass on to those entering the field?
Be fierce, be disruptive, be tenacious. No matter how many obstacles are put in your way, no matter how many times you hear the words: no, not now, and you can't—never give up! If there is something that you are passionate about and you have been called to do it, stay with it until you see the manifestation of your dreams. Giving up is easy, persistence is hard!

Who/what inspires you?
I am inspired by the grace and mercy of God.
We are always looking for ANAC members to feature for awareness and heritage days. Send your recommendation to [email protected] to recognize and celebrate an ANAC member.

Upcoming awareness and heritage days:
Sept. 27 - National Gay Men's HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
Oct. 15 - National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day
Nov. 20 - Transgender Day of Remembrance
Nov. 26 - Native American Heritage Day
Dec. 1 - World AIDS Day