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Why do we need to worry
about HIV among Seniors?

Hiv50+ is undertaking a nation-wide project with the collaboration of local groups to assemble links for key local initiatives toward healthcare equality.

Let us know of any ground-breaking work you are doing in your local area, or innovative collaborations that are helping to break down barriers to wellness and equal healthcare.
How many people over 55 are living with undiagnosed HIV or Aids?
Nearly 350,000 nationwide. About 120,000 of these are over 65 – of which only about 30,000 are estimated to fall into any at-risk category.

Compared to younger persons, people over 65 have much lower survival rates after an Aids diagnosis. Over 40% of new diagnoses in those over 55 follow hospitalisation with “full-blown Aids” – by which time most treatments have little effect.
 
There were 624 new HIV diagnoses among people over 65 in 2009 (the latest year for which data are available) in the 40 states with confidential, names-based HIV case reporting. This is roughly 2% of the 35,825 total.
 
In Massachusetts, the highest rate of a concurrent diagnosis of HIV infection and AIDS was seen in persons 60 years and older (43%!).  See the “Concurrent Diagnoses by Age Category” section in the Mass. Dept of Public Health fact sheet.

How many HIV prevention programs provide info targeted at people over 50?
If you know of any local prevention programs for elders, let us know. We're looking, and working with some agencies to develop programs that target older folks.

Why don't Seniors get tested?
Older folks think HIV is a young person's problems. Besides, we've waited so long to be able to have sex without condoms, because elder women don't get pregnant, that we don't now want to have another reason to use them. We need to think we're not at risk – and the medical community helps us maintain our ignorant stance.

Every adult should be tested for HIV.
No age limit. No excuse. It's the only way to get the epidemic in check.