Back2Stonewall PSA – AIDS Knows No Age Limit: 1 in 6 New USA Cases Are In People Older Than 50

AIDS Knows No Age 1 in 6 New USA Cases Are In People Older Than 50

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

 

 

 

 

Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, writer, blogger and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Advocate, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, Raw Story, and The Huffington Post

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3 Responses

  1. Chicago Bob says:

    One of the curses of growing older is that condoms effect sexual pleasure. Men are more likely to take risks as they grow older and HIV is one of the outcomes.

  2. Too true! Our survival into the time of chronic illness status has bred complacency. Perhaps part of that class privilege as well. I’m one of those genetic non-receptor mutants in terms of the HIV virus, but still tell people of my HHV 6a/b status related to my Chronic Fatigue Syndrome so they understand the risks of Herpes even though it’s suppressed & asymptomatic. And now that PREP has proven less than perfect, we still need to both educate & protect!

  3. chicago Bob says:

    Can you explain what genetic non-receptor mutants in terms of the HIV virus is? I’ve tried to research it but I still don’t understand.

What do you think?