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Author Topic: What is AIDS Survivor Syndrome?  (Read 2857 times)

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Offline LetsKickASS

  • Member
  • Posts: 6
What is AIDS Survivor Syndrome?
« on: September 02, 2017, 04:07:43 pm »

What is AIDS Survivor Syndrome?
By Tez Anderson, Founder, Let’s Kick ASS

Read the longer piece here: http://bit.ly/WhatisASS

AIDS Survivor Syndrome (ASS) describes the spectrum of sustained trauma survivorship. It’s a psychological state resulting from living through HIV/AIDS pandemic. Especially vulnerable are those who became HIV-positive in the 1980s and 1990s when having HIV was considered a terminal diagnosis.

AIDS Survivor Syndrome is a “syndemic” of psychosocial health problems that exist on a spectrum. It varies by degrees of intensity, and it affects HIV Long-Term Survivors differently at different times. It not a linear phenomenon.

Signs and Symptoms

•   Depression
•   Lack of Future Orientation
•   Panic About Aging
•   Suicidality
•   Sexual risk-taking
•   Self-destructive Behavior
•   Substance Abuse
•   Social Withdrawal & Isolation
•   Persistent Negative Thoughts
•   Survivor’s Guilt
•   Cognitive Impairment like Poor Concentration and Loss of Immediate memory
•   Anger & Irritability
•   Anhedonia (Loss of Ability to Enjoy Life)
•   Deep Sadness
•   Emotional Numbness
•   Anxiety & Nervousness
•   Irritability or Flashes of Anger
•   Difficulty Falling Asleep or Staying Asleep
•   Nightmares
•   Personality Changes
•   Feeling Tense, “On Guard” or Hypervigilance.
•   Low Self-Esteem & Self-Worth
•   Sense of Hopelessness
•   Self-Stigma
Depending on other stressors like ongoing multimorbidities and the impact of poverty on Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQoL) issues can be devastating. Social isolation, hopelessness, chronic depression and lack of future orientation are near the top of the list of problems affecting HIV Long-Term Survivors now.

The sustained accumulation of trauma from living through the early decades distinguishes AIDS Survivor Syndrome from the more commonly known Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), in which trauma typically involves a single event or events of limited duration. PTSD is misdiagnosis or a partial diagnosis at best. AIDS Survivor Syndrome is akin to Complex Posttraumatic Stress (CPTS) because of the duration of the “Plague Years” filled with multiple casualties and a life-threatening illness. There are numerous challenges to survival, including high levels of multimorbidity, persistent behavioral health issues, inadequate social supports, barriers to accessing community-based services, and truncated opportunities for employment and participation in society resulting in insufficient financial resources and poor quality-of-life.

Thus far ASS is a phenomenon that has been well-documented anecdotally by HIV Long-Term Survivors. It’s unknown how a history of childhood abuse, other trauma-related events, and the impact of multiple causalities witnessed throughout the HIV/AIDS Pandemic contribute to making some more susceptible to ASS. Nor do we not know what the roles of resilience factors, psychological well-being, and spirituality play. At its core, AIDS Survivor Syndrome is based on the notion that Aging with HIV is riddled with terror and uncertainty after decades of uncertainty.
Read more about ASS at bit.ly/WhatisASS.

We’ve needed research data to confirm the impact of AIDS Survivor Syndrome. The good news is it’s underway, headed by Ron Stall Ph.D., Associate Chair for Science in the Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences at the Graduate School of Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh.

Dr. Stall presents his findings at an upcoming San Francisco town in October 2017 entitled Research on the AIDS Survivor Syndrome: New Data From The Multi-Center AIDS Cohort Study and Voices of Survivors Themselves. Exact date, time and location TBD check www.LetsKickASS.hiv for announcement.

Tez Anderson, Founder of Let’s Kick ASS-AIDS Survivor Syndrome, coined the term AIDS Survivor Syndrome after he lived through a five-year period where he experienced many of the symptoms. He had seen multiple qualified therapists during that time who were treating the individual symptoms. They were unaware the history of surviving an historically unique epidemic and its underlying causality of the turmoil he was living. The first West Coast town hall by, for and about HIV Long-Term Survivors was on September 18, 2013. It took months of planning by amazing people. It took a over half a lifetime of living with HIV to name it.

Let’s Kick ASS
4111 18th St  Ste 5 San Francisco CA 94114
+1 415 999 2788    | EIN: 46–5082959
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/TezAndersonLKA
Blog www.LetsKickASS.hiv   
Twitter @LetsKickASS_org

June 5 is now HIV Long-Term Survivors Awareness Day. Originated by Let’s Kick ASS in 2014. Learn more at www.HLTSAD.org and www.hiv.gov/events/awareness-days/hiv-long-term-survivors-day

Offline OneTampa

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,911
  • "Butterflies are free."
Re: What is AIDS Survivor Syndrome?
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2017, 06:29:03 pm »
Thank You.


"He is my oldest child. The shy and retiring one over there with the Haitian headdress serving pescaíto frito."

Offline harleymc

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,180
Re: What is AIDS Survivor Syndrome?
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2017, 04:12:14 am »
"Sexual risk taking" is that supposed to be a bad thing?

Offline den2542

  • Member
  • Posts: 47
  • Life is what you make it, so make it good
Re: What is AIDS Survivor Syndrome?
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2017, 01:29:35 pm »
So I have ASS. I knew I was feeling that way. Ok so what do I do about this? How can I cope?

Offline neilenet

  • New Member
  • Posts: 1
  • Long Term Survivor
Re: What is AIDS Survivor Syndrome?
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2018, 07:08:00 pm »
 Yeah this is a great organization if you live in the great country of California. And don’t express your views as a Trump supporter.  I was told by Mr. Anderson on Facebook I needed professional help. When he found out I had supported our president.
I tested positive in March 1987.  I know that I’ve probably been positive for 33 years at least. I’ve met a lot of jerks in my life because of this disease. I sure don’t need it from the gay community.  Yeah I’m a conservative so what. I believe in keeping the government and Queens out of my bedroom.  But I’m liberal socially.  And I believe in helping people who suffer no matter what their background.
 Hell, I even remember back in the late 80s support groups ostracizing people because they were “only HIV-positive“ and didn’t have aids yet.
 So don’t fool yourself if you think there aren’t still stigmas out there preventing people from getting the help they need.
“Not all those who wander are lost.”  ~J.R.R. Tolkien


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