Lets Kick Ass, the grassroots organization and leaders for the brave and sometimes weathered long-term survivors of HIV/AIDS, launches national awareness day
Updated, May 21, 2015:
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June 5th is the day– the first national awareness day for long-term survivors of HIV and AIDS. “We’re Still Here” is the theme.
With Courage and compassion, we survived the darkest days of the plague. Without access to effective treatments, we were forced to rely on ourselves and each other.” LetsKickAss.org promotional video
We find ourselves in uncharted waters. NHALTSAD is especially urgent now as the CDC reports that there are an estimated 60,000 Americans who have been living with HIV for more than 25 years. AIDS Survivor Syndrome (ASS) and post-traumatic stress (PTS) among survivors is very real. Long-term survivors feel forgotten and increasingly hopeless. Some are ending their lives rather than live on with survivor’s guilt, depression and anxiety associated with post-traumatic stress.
This observance day occurs on the anniversary of the first published report of what came to be known as AIDS. On June 5, 1981 the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) published a brief account of five young gay men that had been diagnosed with Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP), indicating signs of severely compromised immunesystems. The account sent huge shockwaves throughout the LGBT community and eventually, around the world.
The time has come to talk about what it means to be a long-term survivor. We are asking the media, community groups and AIDS service organizations to find ways to highlight individual stories of survival and resilience.
- Raising the visibility of this overlooked cohort and ensuring that the unique needs and issues of long-term survivors living with and affected by the AIDS epidemic are addressed in the national AIDS response.
- Empowering long-term survivors imagining how they want to live for the next thirty years.
- Putting long-term survivors on the AIDS agenda. We want to survivors to make their voices heard in all levels of is AIDS care as they begin planning for the future they never imagined.
- Drawing attention to the effect of AIDS survivor syndrome (ASS) and post-traumatic stress on survivors lives.
- Healing wounded AIDS warriors by lessening the effects of ASS and PTS.
- Let’s Kick ASS encourages individuals, community groups and AIDS service organizations to plan events highlighting those who survived. They can be as small as a coffee or a large as a Survivor Summit.
- Ensuring individuals who’ve stayed HIV-negative stay negative.
For more information and a calendar of events coast-to-coast please visit www.NHALTSAD.org.