HIV in the Elderly Community

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HIV/AIDS In The Elderly Community
When people think of those populations most impacted by HIV/AIDS, older people are often the last to come to mind. However, older people are at increasing risk for HIV/AIDS and other STDs. A growing number of older people now have HIV/AIDS in the U.S because older people do not get tested for it on a regular basis , there may even be more cases than currently known.

Many factors contribute to the increasing risk of infection in the elderly. In general, older Americans know less about HIV/AIDS and STDs than younger age groups because the elderly have been neglected by those responsible for education and prevention messages. In addition , older people are less likely than younger people to talk about their sex lives or drug use with their doctors , and doctors don’t tent to ask their older patients about sex (if sexually active) or drug use. Finally, older people often mistake the symptoms of HIV/AIDS for the aches and pains of normal aging , so they are less likely to get tested. According to the centers for diseases control and prevention (CDC) , there were 1,039,987 reported AIDS cases in 2003 of which ,315,509 (30%0 were in people over 45. In 1999, the CDC reported that there were 11,056 reported AIDS cases in people over 45 and older. In 2001 , an estimated 12,176 people over 45 were living with AIDS . As you can see these numbers get higher and higher beacoming an epidemic.

Black people are still disproportionately affected. I say disproportionately because they are the ones with the largest numbers. Fifty two percent of older Americans living with HIV/AIDS are either black or Hispanic (according to CDC). Among men over 50 living with HIV and AIDS 49 percent are black. Among women 70 percent are black. People over 50 come from a generation where discussing sex was an “under the table” thing. Nobody wants to discuss the sexual habits of older people. It’s the concept that old people stopped having sex after a certain...
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