HIV & Aging Policy Action Coalition (HAPAC) is a Gilead grant funded initiative that aims to build a dynamic, diverse, and long-term survivor driven group. HAPAC’s mission is focused on publicly acknowledging, drawing much-needed attention to, and meeting the needs of long-term survivors and LGBT older people living with HIV.
SAGE launched HAPAC to fill the need for a sustained advocacy effort to ensure that policymakers understand the intersection between aging and HIV/AIDS – especially its disproportionate impact on marginalized communities. With LGBT people of color being among the sub-populations that experience the highest rates of HIV, HAPAC will prioritize educating about this discrepancy, spotlighting how systemic racism has shaped who is most impacted by the AIDS epidemic, and advocating for policies dismantle racism by explicitly addressing the needs of these underserved communities.
Additionally, because so many survivors of the disease never dreamed they would live this long, the aging network and array of HIV and LGBT-focused providers have, likewise, not sufficiently planned for the aging of the disease. Many policymakers and health care providers continue to view HIV/AIDS and aging as disparate issues, even though more than 50% of people living with HIV in the U.S. are aged 50 and older. HAPAC will work to educate policymakers at the federal level and in states across the nation, encouraging them to enact policies and fund programs in support of long-term survivors and older people living with HIV.
Click here to read more about HAPAC.