November 17, 2023
CONTACT: Mariah McGough, firstname.lastname@example.org, 203 470 9979
COUNCILMEMBERS AND ADVOCATES RALLY FOR INVESTMENTS FOR AGING NEW YORKERS LIVING WITH HIV
Immediately After the Rally, Advocates Plan to Testify at the NYC Council Hearing on People Aging With HIV
NEW YORK — Today, New York City Councilmembers joined advocates for a rally calling for investments into Older Adults Living with HIV, ahead of a hearing where advocates called on the city to lift up solutions that NYC needs to invest in to ensure folks can continue to age with dignity.
“As we navigate the intersection of HIV and aging, our advocacy becomes a beacon for acknowledging and addressing the distinctive challenges faced by this community,” said Terri Wilder, SAGE. “By uniting in advocacy, we pave the way for a future where aging with HIV is met with comprehensive support, compassion, and a commitment to sustaining the dignity of every individual.”
“In New York, 75% of people living with HIV/AIDS are at least 40 years of age, and 57% are 50 years or older,” said Annette Tomlin, a leader with VOCAL-NY. “I’m certain that these previous numbers will continue to increase. It troubles me to know this is the case here and we should be focusing our efforts to secure more funding. This funding should be allocated towards prevention and care for older adults living with HIV/AIDS so that everyone continues to live a long healthy life, with dignity and the care they deserve.”
“I did not even think I would be here for grandkids,” said Asia Bentancourt, a leader with VOCAL-NY’s Positive Leaders Union. “The most impactful thing has been the support and care we have received these years, and I hope we can continue receiving the holistic care because we deserve to age gracefully in NYC.”
“I shouldn’t be alive, but I am. Many older people living with HIV/AIDS are not financially stable enough to retire or grow old,” said Valerie Reyes-Jimenez, NYC Community Organizer, Housing Works. “Barriers such as housing, appropriate healthcare, employment, stigma, and other factors are what make it difficult for our community to stay healthy and grow older. New York City and State must support the medical and social needs of long-term and older New Yorkers living with HIV.”
Currently, over half of adults living with HIV are over the age of 50, and by 2030 over 70% of the HIV positive population in the U.S. will be over 50. As more folks live longer lives, the Council intends to have this hearing to examine the new and different challenges of people aging with HIV and lift up solutions that NYC needs to invest in to ensure folks can continue to age with dignity.