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5 Reasons Why Seniors Are at Risk for HIV


Bias and Stigma

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.

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Reader Comments:

Comment by: Mrs. Jane (Monterey Ca) Mon., Jul. 11, 2016 at 2:34 am UTC
I have been married for 37 years. Happily and me and my husband have 0 risk of contracting hiv or aids. We don't have multiple sex partners. We have each other. So this does not apply to us. Many happily married couples are not at risk. As long as you stay loyal to your wedding vows. This does not apply to us. It's a very ignorant subject and we as adults in our 50's and 60's are quite capable of how hiv is contracted. It's the young kids who engage in unprotected sex that are at risk.
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Comment by: Jan (Ca) Fri., Jul. 1, 2016 at 5:46 pm UTC
This article is totally offensive as well as just ignorant.

First,since when is someone at age 50 considered a senior? Last I checked, there are no discounts or social security benefits dished out at this age.

Second, you forget that 50 yr olds are part of GenX, and we are definitely not ignorant to AIDs. We grew up watching the first wave of many amazing professionals and artistic contributors to our society die in the 80s. We've seen a lot of things happen and we've been a good part of innovation. We are definitely not unhip just because we aren't 25 anymore.

You paint this picture of ancient 50 & 60 yr olds as living in some dream bubble when it comes to sex, as if we grew up back in the 40's and 50s.

Truth is AIDs and HIV have been pushed under the rug so people think it's gone or just only limited to Gays. This is simply a lie.

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Comment by: AMH (DC) Mon., May. 30, 2016 at 1:15 am UTC
Just because you are older and a less concerned cash out conceiving, you should still be aware of the risks and know how to keep yourself safe. Condoms, how to use them, and how to remove them is key. Then, make sure you know your status before you "noogie". Get tested and I know what the symptoms are for other STDs and check for signs of an STD and get treated, and then make sure you are treated and disease free before getting back in the sack. 😄😉
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Comment by: Oarswell (NYC) Thu., May. 26, 2016 at 1:28 am UTC
Please promote the use of female condoms. They cover and protect more of the external genital skin area and can be inserted before sexual activity. They are one size fits all and are do not inhibit erections. These should be promoted and available. Some Walgreens and CVS stores carry them and more will if you ask. FC2 is the name of the current model. They can also be found in many adult shops and online. Be careful and have fun!
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Comment by: Irish American (Roanoke VA) Mon., Jun. 1, 2015 at 8:47 am UTC
The person that wrote this is obviously an ill informed person. I am 61 and lived in NYC in the early 80's and believe me that was ground zero for the AIDS Epidemic. Prior to AIDS there were other diseases and that was why we wore a condom. Unwanted pregnancy was another, a condom was a way for a man to use birth control and protect against disease. All these things were already in use, so this article writer is blowing smoke. If this drivel is what passes for news then we need a revolution. Shame on the person that wrote this piece, a 3rd grader could have done a better job.
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Replies to this comment:
Comment by: Sassy (AR) Sat., Jun. 27, 2015 at 11:34 am UTC
Very well said! I couldn't agree more!
Comment by: JD (Baltimore,MD) Wed., May. 4, 2016 at 1:24 am UTC
I could not have said it better. The author of this article is very uninformed.

Comment by: Otis Glazebrook (San Diego, CA) Thu., May. 28, 2015 at 5:24 pm UTC
This article is ridiculous! The premise is false. We are to assume that baby boomers are all of a sudden going to start engaging in sex with gay and bisexual men and iv drug users? This type of similar false concern came out in the 90's, claiming that everyone was a potential aids risk, rather than the gay/bisexual/ iv drug users. Was it meant to spread the blame for aids or reduce the homosexual stigma? It sure appears that way, as transmission to straight and non-drug users/associates is very rare.
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Replies to this comment:
Comment by: Kram (92637) Sun., Jun. 28, 2015 at 9:06 am UTC
CDC data says 75% new aids hiv are gays

Comment by: Carolyn (oklahoma) Mon., May. 25, 2015 at 12:21 am UTC
Yay! Good old fashioned morality is still works. Think I will go with that.
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Comment by: solo (chicago) Sat., Apr. 18, 2015 at 7:27 am UTC
I think everyone,,,wen changing partners should be check... There r people out here advertising dis HIV. And proud of it DAT dey gave it to over 50 different men. And one admits she got it and gave it to 85 other men
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Comment by: Jack o'lanter (san diego) Sat., Mar. 14, 2015 at 4:05 am UTC
Idiot this was around in our time and even before and we are in our 60's. Its just that there are plenty of ignorant people around believing this bs that your saying.
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Comment by: Raa (San Diego) Sun., Dec. 14, 2014 at 12:16 pm UTC
Everything is either fatting, unhealthy, immoral, or against the law. Choose your poison.
No one is getting out of here alive anyway but you are home free because creators are responsible for the outcome of their creations as well as their creations. ( : > )
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Comment by: Lars (Amsterdam, Netherlands) Sat., Mar. 8, 2014 at 4:33 pm UTC
Here in the Netherlands and other parts of north- and western Europe gaymen over 50 years began to feel frustrated about a whole sexual live with condoms and many will think; let's finally enjoy bare. Gaymen usually have no children and getting really old will mean a lonely, depressed life for many of them. So they will think let's enjoy bare now in our last decades of sexual chanches.
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Comment by: Herman W (Piscataway, NJ) Fri., Dec. 28, 2012 at 8:24 am UTC
Eventhough when have made some progress in stomping out HIV infection, we should not get complacent and feel like the fight is over. HIV is always looking for an opening to attack. So with that said, I think that (and this comment is from someone who has struggle with survival for over 20 yrs)we should bomb the groups that are most vulnerable with education and seminars on transmission and prevention, keep HIV infection on our top agenda in schools and stop spreading rumors like the we have beat this virus. There is no cure for AIDS or HIV infection-and that is a fact.
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Comment by: ED (Phoenix, CA) Wed., Dec. 12, 2012 at 5:53 am UTC
You should add that senior men w/o partners might decide to engage in risky sex with prostitutes. Also, men with ED can't use condoms and don't know oral sex can also transmit HIV and STDs.
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Replies to this comment:
Comment by: Bertha (Here) Sat., Jun. 27, 2015 at 11:27 am UTC
How ignorant! You obviously don't know much! Men with ED CAN use condoms if they're taking viagra, cyalis, etc to help with that otherwise, having sex is next to none! What makes you think senior men don't know oral sex can transmit STD's? BTW, HIV IS an STD! What makes you think senior men w/o partners might turn to a prostitute? What an idiot!

Comment by: Sulaiman mr.Lecturer (Bauchi,Nigeria.) Thu., Nov. 22, 2012 at 6:37 pm UTC
Yes the seniors might be at that risky because they lack backgroud of sex education,peer education and god fearing.
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Replies to this comment:
Comment by: Sassy (AR) Sat., Jun. 27, 2015 at 11:32 am UTC
Really? Maybe in your part of the world there's a lack of sex education, but certainly not in the US1 I'm a senior who had sex education, peer education(as you call it)50 yrs ago and practice moral behavior!

Comment by: English Teacher (Southwest FL) Wed., Nov. 21, 2012 at 8:59 am UTC
Does anyone PROOF their work anymore? There are MANY missing words in this article.
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Replies to this comment:
Comment by: Sassy (AR) Sat., Jun. 27, 2015 at 11:37 am UTC
I agree! If the author had PROOF, we'd see foot notes, which there are none!

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