Bias and Stigma
For many people over 50, the thought of being at risk for HIV doesn't cross their minds. But they're not alone in this thought: There are way too many doctors and health care workers who refuse to acknowledge that older people are having sex. And we all know that couldn't be further from the truth.
According to a study by the University of Chicago, 60 percent of men and 37 percent of women 50 years old and above report engaging in sexual intercourse a few times per month.
This particular silence poses some serious problems, especially since older people are less likely to talk about their sex lives or drug use with their doctors. And so if doctors are not leading the conversation about risky behaviors, they are missing prime opportunities to test and educate, which in the end only places people over 50 further at risk. Perhaps this is why so many older people are being diagnosed with HIV with extremely low CD4 counts and serious HIV-related health issues.