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Today is National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day (NHAAD), a yearly observance launched by The AIDS Institute that focuses on the challenges the aging population faces in regards to HIV/AIDS and to highlight prevention, testing, care, and treatment.

Older adults in the U.S. are more likely to have late stage HIV infection at the time of diagnosis, which means they start treatment late and possibly suffer more immune-system damage. According to the CDC, an estimated 47% of individuals in the U.S. diagnosed with HIV were aged 50 and older in 2015. Project OpenHand-Columbus (POHC) serves a critical need by providing nutritious food for individuals living with HIV/AIDS. The program began in San Francisco, was founded in Columbus in 1994, and merged with LifeCare Alliance in 2004.

LifeCare Alliance would like to bring our recent supporters of POHC to light on this day. This past year, we received assistance for POHC clients from Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and Janssen Therapeutics, and emergency funding from the MAC Viva Glam Fund and The Legacy Fund of the Columbus Foundation. We would not be able to serve those living with HIV/AIDS without the help of the above mentioned organizations and businesses. Thank you for nourishing the human spirit!

-By Stephanie Rowe Bencic, LifeCare Alliance

Learn more

Visit Project OpenHand-Columbus’s page to learn more about POHC’s efforts to fight HIV/AIDS through nutrition!