PGN Special Edition Coverage

Imagine being 24 years old again, old enough to fully live and young enough not to care. Remember what it was like the first time you fell in love — not puppy love that usually disappears after high school, but real love. Love that makes your stomach flutter and your hands moist when you’re around that person, your eyes wander because you become fascinated with this being in front of you, secure in knowing that all your love and efforts in creating a healthy, functioning relationship are reciprocated to the fullest ability. Now imagine being that person’s lover: basking in the glory of sweet, sweet tangerines mixed with cinnamon, honey, whipped crème and vodka because as we all know, love is hard. However, the beauty within you two is that you make it work: love. Love is enough. Picture the two of you holding hands out by the beach, relaxing with the sand in your toes and the wind in your hair. You lean into your sweetheart, two ice-cold tall glasses of champagne — topped with HIV; would you like one? 

Mazzoni Center was the first AIDS service organization in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the fourth in the United States. Our agency was founded as a small, grassroots, all-volunteer clinic in 1979, a few short years before the first cases of HIV/AIDS began to appear in Philadelphia and around the country. This means that we’ve had a long perspective on AIDS not simply as a medical condition, but as something that may also impact a person’s social, emotional and economic well-being. Our continuum of care has evolved to support in these various needs, including food, housing, mental health and case management, along with quality medical care.

Many of us prefer not to think about getting old, instead trying to preserve our youth and fight the natural aging process at every step of the way. But the fact is that all of us are aging, and if we are fortunate enough to live long lives, we will some day need to receive services from the network of aging-services professionals and health-care providers who care for older adults.

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