June 5 is National HIV/AIDS Long-Term Survivors Awareness Day


Friday, June 5, is the second annual National HIV/AIDS Long-Term Survivor Awareness Day (NHALTSAD). Coinciding with the anniversary of the first reported casesof the disease that would come to be known as AIDS, in 1981, the day aims to raise awareness about people living with HIV since the early years of the epidemic, many of whom are facing new and unexpected challenges as they age.

"A set of psychological symptoms such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, and even suicide -- now known as AIDS survivor syndrome (ASS) -- has become the wake-up call for more attention to these survivors," wrote long-term survivor Matt Sharp in an article last year for the first NHALTSAD. The effort was spearheaded by the San Francisco-based grassroots organization Let's Kick ASS.

This year’s NHALTSAD theme is "Every Survivor Counts," because many long-term survivors feel invisible and forgotten, according to the Let's Kick Ass website.