Hiv/Aids

Topics: AIDS, HIV, Antiretroviral drug / Pages: 8 (1763 words) / Published: Feb 24th, 2011
CHAPTER 1

INTRODUCTION When we think of HIV/AIDS we have certain populations in mind. We hear about its ravages on young men and women; on the gay and transgender populations; on the homeless and the intravenous drug user. We seldom think about HIV/AIDS and senior citizens. What no one talks about is HIV/AIDS and the older adult. It’s no wonder that when you talk to our senior citizens, they may have the perception that HIV/AIDS is not a risk to them. Is HIV/AIDS a risk to older adults? Is HIV/AIDS over 50 a problem? (Cichocki, 2007) The truth of the matter is that HIV/AIDS surveillance shows that 10 percent of all new HIV/AIDS cases are in people over the age of 50. Statistics also show that new HIV/AIDS cases rose faster in the over 50 population than in people under 40. The following information sheds light on HIV/AIDS and the older adult population perception, and what can be done to raise awareness, slow the infection rate and sustain a high quality of life for our seniors (Cichocki, 2007). Research has shown that, while many of these HIV/AIDS cases are the result of HIV infections at a younger age; many are due to becoming infected after age 50 (Center for AIDS Prevention Studies, 1996; 8:15.). Many older adult people live in assisted living communities, where there is still great stigma attached to HIV/AIDS, often associated with homosexuality and/or substance abuse. Management may be resistant to providing HIV/AIDS educational materials or presentation to their facilities. Based on the progressive increase of HIV/AIDS in the older adult population, it is reasonable to predict that the perception of HIV/AIDS in this age group may continue to rise if steps are not taken to prevent HIV/AIDS transmission (Eldred & West, 2005). Education is power, and the need to change the perception of a forgotten population is long overdue. This study was administered to older adults in a nursing facility, senior activity center, and a community barber shop in

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