Tez Anderson
May 9, 2018 · 7 min read

Featured on HIVplus Magazine

Twitter @HIVSurvivors

SAN FRANCISCO, CA June 5, 2018, is HIV Long-Term Survivors Awareness Day (HLTSAD) #HLTSAD2018. It is a day to spotlight the present day needs and issues of those living longest with HIV and AIDS.

The 2018 theme is HIV It Is (Still) Not Over because health departments, HIV services organizations and the community are focused on “ending AIDS” and “getting to zero.” Goals that are lofty but leave those living longest with HIV feeling isolated and left behind.

Currently, 26% of all 1.3 million people living with HIV in the U.S. became positive before 1996, meaning they are longest-term survivors. Many others have been living with HIV for over 15 years.

Too many HLTS are isolated, depressed, living in poverty and coping with AIDS Survivors Syndrome (ASS) which includes depression, anxiety, and a host of other social and mental factors impacting treatment adherence, quality of life, and well-being. Instead of being celebrated as the pioneers they are they are, they are frightened about the prospects aging with HIV, a virus that killed swaths of our loved ones and community.

“Before we End AIDS, let’s take care of on the needs and issues of long-term survivors, people who have lived with HIV for 25 and 35-plus years,” says Tez Anderson, founder of Let’s Kick ASS — AIDS Survivor Syndrome. “Our lives were dramatically changed by the epidemic, and it feels like the community has moved on. The meme ‘we lost an entire generation to AIDS’ is wrong. We lost much of a generation, but there are many of us still here, surviving against the odds.”

Why June 5?

June 5, 1981, holds a special place in the history of the HIV/AIDS pandemic. It was when the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported on the first cases of a rare pneumonia affecting young gay men living in New York and California. It would later be identified as HIV/AIDS.

Today we know that HIV doesn’t discriminate and impacts people of all genders, races, sexual orientations, and socio-economic backgrounds. After experiencing decades of death and multiple causalities, many long-term survivors are socially isolated and lacking services that are culturally aware of the early decades of AIDS.

Long-Term Survivors are also more susceptible to conditions like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis, liver, and kidney failure, and visceral adipose tissue (lipodystrophy) and GI issues including diarrhea (HIV enteropathy).


HLTSAD is also about prevention. HLTS need to know that people who maintain an undetectable viral load cannot transmit the virus to others. The science is clear: Undetectable=Untransmittable. When you’re undetectable, you both protect your health and prevent new HIV infections.

The goals of HLTSAD 2018 are:

  • HIV and aging are complex and nuanced. HLTS are aging but constitute a distinct cohort different medical and psychological challenges including AIDS Survivor Syndrome, poverty, isolation, and invisibility.
  • In our haste to End AIDS prioritize the 2018 modern-day needs of HIV LTS.
  • Survivors are a valuable part of our communities we need to empower them to become the elders, leaders, and teachers.
  • Celebrating HLTS for enduring an historically unique epidemic and being the pioneers of the AIDS pandemic.
  • Prioritize HLTS culturally-aware healthcare and mental health.
  • Move beyond survival, the goal is aging well with HIV.
  • Honoring the resilience and strength, it took survive multiple causalities and unprocessed grief while planning to die.

About HIV Long-Term Survivors Awareness Day

Started in 2014 by Let’s Kick ASS—AIDS Survivor Syndrome, founder Tez Anderson, it is an offical awareness day on


Also on

Our Facebook Page:

Twitter: @HIVSurvivors

Download a PDF of this press release here: PRESS RELEASE HLTSAD2018

About Let’s Kick ASS

Let’s Kick ASS — AIDS Survivor Syndrome is the lead sponsor of HLTSAD. We’re a grassroots movement empowering HIV Long-Term Survivors (HLTS) to thrive.

On the ground and online. we are the largest organization devoted to addressing the needs, issues, and lives of women and men living longest with HIV. Founded in 2013 to meet an unmet need. We have chapters in Oregon and Palm Springs too.


Twitter @LetsKickASS_hiv

HLTSAD Events We Know About.

If you have others email who, what when, where and any graphics jpeg or .png files please send it to

The Kick ASS Manual

Eric Jannke of our Palm Springs Chapter has put together The Kick ASS Manual was originally conceived as something useful to front-line providers. The project has shifted in composition, away from journal-type articles and towards personal stories, always with the goal of informing, increasing the body of knowledge around HIV and thereby improving quality of life for people living with HIV. Most of the pieces are short. We want them to be approachable and useful to a diverse audience, ranging from professionals and caregivers dealing with people who might have HIV, to people living with HIV, to people who don’t have HIV but want to learn more. The Manual can answer questions directly, and suggest sources for further information. It puts a face to aging with HIV, raises awareness around some of the issues that can trouble our lives, and provides ideas about how to improve them.

Download a PDF here:

Articles of interest:


HIV Long-Term Survivors Awarness Day

Tez Anderson

Written by

HIV Long-Term Survivor, Writer, Speaker, HIV Activist, & Founder of Lets Kick ASS grassroots movement empowering @HIVsurvivors. @TezAnderson & @LetsKickASS_hiv



HIV Long-Term Survivors Awarness Day