HIV/AIDS: What Is It All About?
We are now in the third decade of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and although HIV prevention efforts have grown substantially over time and we have made important progress, major unmet needs remain especially concerning the Differently-abled. HIV continues to pose a significant threat to Americans' health and well-being, with African Americans and men who have sex with men (MSM) of all races most severely affected.

While African Americans account for 13 percent of the population, they account for nearly half of HIV diagnoses in 2005 (49% in 33 states with longstanding confidential name-based reporting) and nearly half of the people estimated to be living with HIV (47%). MSM also account for half of new HIV diagnoses in 2005 (49% in the 33 states with confidential name-based reporting) and nearly half of people estimated to be living with HIV (45%). However, when it comes to this epidemic among HIV differently-abled individuals, a prevention message has been totally unnoticed, and unobserved. PPD plan to change this non-inclusion.

HIV And The Differently-Abled

While advances in HIV treatment have greatly improved the lives of HIV-infected people, HIV remains a serious and fatal disease. In 2005, over 16,000 Americans with AIDS died. As a nation, we must continue to invest in prevention. As with many other diseases, Americans tend to focus more on treating than preventing HIV. For example, in FY 2006, only 5 percent of the domestic HIV/AIDS budget went to prevention, including prevention research and programs. While treatment and care for those already infected remains critical, we must intensify our collective efforts to prevent people from becoming infected in the first place. The scale of our response must be commensurate with the challenges.

PPD has raised awareness to the CDC of the individuals who are HIV (+) and Differently-abled.

HIV/AIDS and Aging
  • The epidemic is polarized - we have lots of young, new  naïve infections (new to treatment), but with low T-cell counts, and those chronically infected who are aging.
  • HIV is lifelong & relatively manageable, but there are lots of unanswered questions as the population ages; more research needs to ^be done on aspects of lifelong chronic manageable infection - what is the long-term significance of HIV, of treatments, etc? We need to investigate more. And PPD wants to work in collaborations with other to answer these kinds of questions.
  • Is it the drugs, is it the virus or is it just getting old? Or a mix of the three?
  • USA: 13-14% of new cases are >50 yrs
  • Significant increase in older women >50 yrs
    • Late presenters and not perceived to be at risk
    • Divorce/Widowed-starting new relationships
    • Use of other drugs in older people
    • Poor immune response
    • Faster disease progression
    • And Differently-abled conditions
  • Older age associated with:
    • Better adherence
    • Slower CD4 recovery
    • Increased mortality from non-AIDS events

Disabilities - Before and After HIV/AIDS
  • woman.jpgPhysical - inability to walk, in need of a wheelchair, walker or personal aide.
  • Blind or Visually impaired.
  • Partial or complete hearing loss.
  • These can be present prior to HIV infection or may occur as a result of HIV/AIDS progression.


HIV/AIDS and the Differently-Abled

People who are Differently-abled have equal or greater exposure to all known risk factors for HIV infection.

Homosexuality and bisexuality appear to occur at the same rate among individuals who are differently-abled as among the non-disabled.

Individuals who are differently-abled are as likely as non-disabled persons to use drugs and alcohol.

People who are differently-abled are as likely as their non-disabled peers to be sexually active.



This site contains HIV prevention, and educational messages that may not be appropriate for all audiences. Since HIV infection is spread primarily through sexual practices or by sharing needles, prevention messages and programs may address these topics. If you are not seeking such information or may be offended by such materials, please exit this website.