To enhance aging-related services for the nation’s rapidly aging HIV positive community, Aunt Rita’s Foundation, in partnership with AIDS Health Care Foundation and Arizona Complete Health, has launched HIV and Aging, a 3-module online course for aging service professionals caring for older adults living with HIV.
“With more than 50 percent of the nation’s 1.2 million Americans living with HIV over the age of 50 – a number expected to rise to 70% by 2025 – it’s imperative that we ensure access to aging-related services with dignity and respect for this unique community,” said Aunt Rita’s Foundation Executive Director Jimmy Thomason.
Did you know: In Arizona, 71% of the 19,000 individuals living with HIV reside in Maricopa County?
Cost for the online courses will be $59 but they are being offered free during the program’s first month, from Sept. 17-Oct. 17.
The impetus for the program was research by Aunt Rita’s Foundation in 2019 that focused on economic concerns (financial security and insurance), isolation concerns (age discrimination, loss of support, among others), the stigma of HIV and its emotional and physical impact.
Module 1 provides introductory information about HIV/AIDS including an understanding of the infection and how it has changed over the past 40 years.
Module 2 addresses the unique needs of older persons living with HIV including how their lives have been complicated by HIV that affected relations with family and friends, being shunned and the impact on income.
Module 3 discusses the unique needs of the older LGBTQ population.
About Aunt Rita’s Foundation
Since 2005, in its mission to end HIV in Arizona, Aunt Rita’s Foundation has granted more than $2 million to 14 partner agencies and develops innovative gap-filling educational and HIV prevention and testing programs that complement and support existing critical community-based resources. Partner agencies include The Bill Holt Clinic at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, CAN Community Health, Chicanos Por La Causa Luces Program, Ebony House, HEAL International, HIV Care Directions, Joshua Tree Feeding Program, McDowell Healthcare Clinic, Native Health, one n ten, Southwest Behavioral Health Services, Southwest Center and Terros Health. Aunt Rita’s distributes free Home HIV Test Kits through GetTestedAz.org and provides vouchers for confidential HIV and syphilis tests at 100 Safeway stores and Sonora Quest locations statewide. Aunt Rita’s also created the HIV and Aging Initiative to provide the rapidly aging HIV-positive community with specialized support. Aunt Rita’s signature fund-raising events are AIDS Walk Arizona, RED Brunch and RED is the Night. Aunt Rita’s Foundation also works to increase awareness and education about HIV/AIDS statewide through HIVAZ.ORG.
For more information, visit www.auntritas.org or call (602) 882-8675.