Thanks to medications, more and more people are living longer with HIV.
On “National HIV Aging Awareness Day,” which was on Wednesday, advocates called attention to the challenges for those living with HIV treatment as they grow older.
Frank Gulli, 68, of Hollywood has a cabinet full of medication.
“This is what keeps me alive, I take a total of 14 different pills every day,” he said.
The most important pills are the ones he has been taking since he was diagnosed with HIV in 1985.
“I was in ground zero for the AIDS crisis,” Gulli said.
Like many living with HIV, Gulli must take anti-viral meds for the rest of his life. It’s a task that can become a challenge for aging patients dealing with memory issues.
“If you fail three times or more. There’s a possibility that the meds will no longer be effective,” Gulli said.
In 2020, half of people living with HIV will be over 50. In 2030, that number will grow to 75%.
Emmanuel Sanchez-Ramos runs the HIV Elders program, also known as HIVE. It’s part of APLA Health.