#LetsKickAss HIV and AIDS Long-Term Survivors

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:

To continue to show our “LOVE 4 #HIV Longterm Survivors” please join me in donating our social media reach to make sure they all us hear us loudly and clearly.

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

 

This year’s theme, “We’re Still Here,” reflects the strength and resilience of the generation of survivors who lived through the darkest decades of the AIDS epidemic—the 1980s and 1990s. The We’re Still Here campaign continues the work of Let’s Kick ASS by focusing on the lives of long-tem survivors. By optimizing self-empowerment, increasing visibility, and ending stigma, NHALTSAD puts long-term survivors on the AIDS agenda. Our goal is to empower survivors to find meaning and purpose amidst the rubble of lives so incredibly impacted by AIDS. It kicks off a year of Optimizing the Lives of Survivors.

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.

 

 

Let’s Kick ASS PSA featuring National HIV/AIDS Long-Term Survivors Awareness Day June 5 from Let’s Kick (ASS) on Vimeo.
 

For more information and a calendar of events coast-to-coast please visit www.NHALTSAD.org.