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Growing Older With HIV: What Concerns You Most?


Theodore Kerr

Theodore Kerr

Visual AIDS, New York City

I think housing, treatment, collateral damage because of treatment, unresolved trauma, dating, co-infections, becoming positive later in life, isolation -- you name it!

But if I had to narrow it down to one concern I would say I am troubled by how elders in our community are not afforded the opportunity to have their expression witnessed in its entirety. Unless someone growing older with HIV is expressing extreme joy, wisdom, anger or gratefulness there is general apathy or avoidance toward them. We need to understand people growing older have a right to change their mind, be wrong, be right, experiment, not want to be mentors, not want to be gateways to history, and be engaged about what is happening right now with them. The answer of course is not to put seniors on a pedestal and wait for them to speak any more than we should ignore their experience. We can witness what people have to give without our own agenda. As people live longer with HIV we are going to have different conversations. We need to be open to those experiences.

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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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