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Growing Older With HIV: What Concerns You Most?




Québec, Canada

As a real senior (I was infected in February 1980 and diagnosed in 1985), I have been through a lot of despair, at one point stopping all medication. On the other hand, I was also one of the few lucky ones who were recognized as disabled in 1995, and will live on a disability pension from an insurance company for three more years, until I reach 65.

My main concern is the same as it was on Oct. 28, 1985, when I was diagnosed, namely that I will finish my days alone. I am not too keen on starting a relationship with a negative man as I feel that this has been a contributing factor in the interruption of my last relationship; on the other hand, finding an HIV-positive man when you are 62 years old appears to be very difficult. Negative gay men now mostly reject poz men readily.

I do not have money concerns, and living in Québec I know that medical services will be available, free and of high quality. I also know that my meds will remain available ... so no concern there. My other concerns are for the new generation that does not protect themselves systematically; the frame of mind has changed from “I must protect myself” to “It is the responsibility of the HIV positive man to make sure he does not infect others.”

Another concern is with regards to the complacency in the public opinion that HIV infection is a manageable disease; complacency with regards to protecting oneself as I already mentioned, but also complacency in research. The undiscerning journalists reporting on the overly optimistic researchers create a sense that a cure is at our door and hence increase the complacency.

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See Also
HIV Positive and Past 50: Words of Wisdom to My Newly Diagnosed, Younger Self
Robert Vazquez-Pacheco on Race, ACT UP and Why Older HIV/AIDS Leaders Need to Pass the Torch
Issues That Divide Expert Opinion: When to Start, HIV and Aging and the Impact of HIV on Life Expectancy
The Golden Girls (and Boys): What It's Really Like to Grow Older With HIV/AIDS, Part 1
The Graying of AIDS: Portraiture and Stories From an Aging Epidemic
World AIDS Day 2013: Features and News


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