HRSA Dear Colleague Letter on National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day (September 18, 2022)

Posted September 26, 2022

National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day Dear Colleague Letter

September 16, 2022 

Dear Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Colleagues: 

On September 18, 2022, HRSA’s HIV/AIDS Bureau (HAB) will recognize National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day. This observance focuses on the increasing number of people living long, full lives with HIV, and calls attention to the unique, health and social needs of older adults with HIV. 

In the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (RWHAP), we note and celebrate a rise in the number of clients aged 50 and older. In 2020, nearly 48 percent of all RWHAP clients were aged 50 and older. This represents a large increase from 31.6 percent in 2010 as people are living longer with HIV. Of RWHAP clients aged 50 and older receiving HIV medical care, 92.9 percent were virally suppressed, which is higher than the national average of 89.4 percent. 

We credit this notable viral suppression rate to the RWHAP’s “whole-person” approach to care. As people with HIV age, their health care and social needs change. Older adults with HIV often experience social isolation, loneliness, a lack of social support, and HIV- and age-related stigma, which can prevent them from seeking the care they need to stay healthy. In the RWHAP, we provide HIV care and treatment, as well as support services, such as housing assistance, transportation, meal delivery, and psychosocial support. This allows us to help our clients remain in care and on their medication, while also tending to their mental health, well-being, and quality of life. 

We encourage our RWHAP recipients to view the resources we developed to help providers optimize services for patients aging with HIV. These include two reference guides, Incorporating New Elements of Care and Putting Together the Best Health Care Team, as well as our Addressing the Health Care and Social Support Needs of People Aging with HIV Technical Expert Panel Summary. 

Additional trainings, tools, and resources are available on and the RWHAP AIDS Education and Training Center Program’s National Coordinating Resource Center website. 

HAB also recently launched a new Special Projects of National Significance initiative focused on emerging strategies to improve health outcomes for people aging with HIV. Please visit the TargetHIV website to learn more. 

As always, thank you for your ongoing efforts and dedication to providing HIV care and treatment to more than half a million people with HIV across the country, especially our growing population of people aging with HIV. 


Laura W. Cheever

Laura Cheever, MD, ScM 

Associate Administrator 

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