In 2014, nearly 17 percent of the country’s new HIV diagnoses — 7,391 of 44,071 — were among people, mostly gay men 50 and older, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Health-care providers don’t routinely consider HIV when treating older patients, despite guidelines that call on them to screen through age 64, researchers and physicians say. They may be reluctant to ask about an older person’s sex life and sometimes attribute HIV symptoms to age-related issues such as heart disease.
Amy C. Justice, a researcher at Yale University’s Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS, recalled a married man in his 60s who was seen by specialists at Yale-New Haven Hospital. It took more than 18 months before anyone thought to test him for HIV, despite symptoms consistent with the disease.
While the older newly diagnosed group includes more heterosexuals and more women, it generally reflects the overall HIV universe: mostly gay men, some straight men and women, intravenous drug users..
Medically, newly diagnosed older people may immediately face the prospect of a high viral load and more severe illness if their infection is not recent. Older immune systems are not as robust and do not respond as well. A greater proportion of older people die within a year of diagnosis than younger people do.
And because HIV is an inflammatory condition, it increases the likelihood of heart attacks and strokes. Older people already are more likely to be managing high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes, so their doctors must be careful about which antiretroviral drugs to prescribe. For example, some do not react well with statins taken for high cholesterol.
Gentlemen and ladies this is a serious issue. For those of us who lived through the plague the first time we know better and there is NO EXCUSE.
A cure for AIDS has not been found and it is still very much a threat to us all.
Remember the rules and PLAY SAFE. Your life STILL depends on it.
Full article source: The graying of HIV