Recurring Themes – Stigma

Dealing with any illness can be difficult, but the stigma associated with certain diseases can add additional hardship in the form of judgment and social exclusion. Some illnesses are more heavily stigmatized than others; HIV/AIDS has been particularly stigmatized since the beginning of the epidemic.

We made tremendous progress, but we still have a ways to go, and since we’re dealing with such bedrock values and issues around sexuality, sexual activity, drug use, it’s going to be slow to change some of the remaining amounts of the value issues that lead to stigma. —Ronald Johnson, age 58. [...]

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Recurring Themes – Sex & Dating

We may not talk about it or see it on movie screens, but sex and romance continue to play an important role in many people’s lives as they age. Some who have lost a long-term romantic partner are starting new intimate relationships for the first time since the HIV epidemic began. And some older adults have multiple partners or may be involved with someone who is not monogamous.

Advisory Panel

Heather Altman, MPH (Chapel Hill, NC) has been working with Carol Woods Retirement Community since 2003, and is currently the Project Director of Community Connections for Seniors, a 3-year grant funded by The Duke Endowment to implement initiatives at both the North Carolina state and local levels addressing service … Read More…

White House Meeting on HIV & Aging

The Graying of AIDS was honored to join a group of activists, providers, researchers, and government agency representatives for a meeting on HIV and aging convened by the White House Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP) on October 27, 2010.… Read More…



Short for “acquired immune deficiency syndrome,” the life-threatening stage of HIV infection. A medical diagnosis for people whose immune systems are so damaged that either (a) their CD4 count drops below 200, or (b) they develop one or more opportunistic infections or cancers known as AIDS-Defining Conditions (ADCs).

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Contact Us

Katja Heinemann
Project Director / Visual Journalist

Naomi Schegloff, MPH
Project Co-Director / Director of Community Engagement

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Looking Forward

Many long-term survivors and their more recently diagnosed peers are struggling with the consequences of the current societal complacency about the AIDS epidemic here in the US. They find themselves without key sources of emotional and practical support as loved ones have succumbed to AIDS or, as with many older … Read More…

Resource Links

We are working towards creating a list of links that will have something for everyone. Whether you are an older adult living with or curious about HIV/AIDS, a care provider, a student or teacher, a concerned family member, friend, or potential volunteer, we hope that you will find some of Read More…


The Graying of AIDS is an independent collaborative documentary project and educational campaign created by Katja Heinemann, a visual journalist, and Naomi Schegloff, a health educator.

Katja Heinemann (Project Co-Director, Visual Journalist) regularly produces portraiture, photo essays, and multi-media stories incorporating photography, audio and video, for editorial, commercial and institutional … Read More…


We are tremendously grateful to the following for their many forms of generous support.

The extraordinary individuals who shared their stories with our project:
Jackie Anderson, “Apolonia”, Carnetta Best, Robert Brewster, Louis & Rosalia Curbelo, “Dee”, Anna Fowlkes, Ronald Johnson, Larry McKeon, Thomas Jones & Linda Ryals, Bill Rydwels, Sue … Read More…

Modes of Transmission

Choosing not to have sex or share needles is the most effective way to avoid possible exposure to HIV, but there are other very effective ways to reduce the chances of transmission and increase your chances of staying healthy. [...]

Bios – Participants


Carnetta Best
Fort Lauderdale, Florida

When Carnetta was interviewed in 2006, she was living in a transitional residence for the formerly homeless in Broward County, and getting ready to move into her own apartment. Diagnosed in 1991, she continues to live and thrive in Florida today.


Robert Brewster

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Project History

The Graying of AIDS was initially produced by Katja Heinemann for Time Magazine in 2006, as both a photo and multimedia essay to draw attention to the aging demographics of people living with the virus in the United States.  Publication was timed to coincide with the release of ACRIA‘s … Read More…

Seniors Not Accessing Critical Preventative Health Services

A new report out of the US Department of Health and Human Services Office highlights how few seniors are currently accessing critical preventative health services, with minority seniors even less likely to receive these services. Findings indicate that if seniors received the 20 recommended prevention services (including potentially life-saving screenings … Read More…

Welcome to the Artists Responding Blog

The arts have always played a critical role in examining challenging issues, exploring diverging perspectives, and communicating personal truths. In the thirty-year history of the AIDS epidemic, they have played an instrumental role in moving our collective dialog forward and inspiring individual and collective action. The Graying of AIDS is, at its core, a photojournalistic project that aspires to increase awareness and dialog around issues related to aging and HIV/AIDS; it is by no means the first body of creative work to address these concerns through the arts, and there is much to learn from those who have come before. Read More…

Training Materials

Order our 44-page pilot Graying of AIDS “magazine” through MagCloud.

Download a PDF version (1.2MB) of the Graying of AIDS “magazine.”

Please give us feedback: info@grayingofaids.org.

More materials to be added over time, please check back.

To learn about relevant continuing education and training materials and resources created Read More…

“Graying of HIV” Symposium in Baltimore, MD

According to a June 2010 “Fact Sheet” by the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, 8% of all state residents living with HIV at the end of 2008 were aged 60 or older. Of the 2,586 new diagnoses in 2008, 6.7% were 60+, as compared to 2.8% back in … Read More…

Support Our Project

At its core, The Graying of AIDS project is run by a two-person team, so we couldn’t have come this far without the generous contributions of many people’s time, experience, in-kind goods and services, and financial support. If you are interested in getting involved, you might want to:

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Graying In The News

A collection of media coverage featuring the Graying of AIDS project; for a news media round-up of current articles on HIV and aging, please follow us on facebook.


December 2015
YAHOO! News features Stories From an Aging Pandemic:

For World AIDS Day, we were bringing a selection … Read More…

New Video For National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day

In recognition of the fourth annual National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day on September 18th, The Graying of AIDS teamed up with the National Resource Center on LGBT Aging to highlight some of the extraordinary LGBT-identified older adults who have participated in the creation of our project thus far. The  … Read More…

Featurette: Institutional Discrimination and the Case of Dr. Franke

“What if there are many other older people, and this is the first wave of them, who are not used to speaking out about anything, and they’ll just quietly pack up their blankets and leave? And I thought, damn, that’s not right.”  —Dr. Robert Franke, Little Rock, AR

When the … Read More…

Get Tested

With early detection and treatment, many people are able to live with asymptomatic HIV for many years before progressing to an AIDS diagnosis, which happens when they begin to experience one or more of a list of AIDS-defining conditions, or ADCs. Unfortunately, many older adults receive news of their … Read More…