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U.S. News

New Jersey: The Number of Older HIV/AIDS Patients Is Growing

August 10, 2005

A note from TheBody.com: Since this article was written, the HIV pandemic has changed, as has our understanding of HIV/AIDS and its treatment. As a result, parts of this article may be outdated. Please keep this in mind, and be sure to visit other parts of our site for more recent information!

The CDC Surveillance Report for 2002 showed that people age 45 and older made up 21 percent of new HIV/AIDS diagnoses in 1999. By 2002, the figure was 25 percent.

A 2004 report from the Division of HIV/AIDS Services at the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services lists people age 50 and older as 25 percent of the 32,401 HIV/AIDS cases in the state. People 50 and up accounted for 12 percent of new HIV/AIDS cases in New Jersey in 1997, the report said. By 2002, they accounted for 16 percent of new cases.

Larry Ganges, assistant commissioner with the Division of HIV/AIDS Services, said many factors could cause the phenomenon. Among them:

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  • A 2004 report from the division said people 50 and older are less likely to be tested for HIV. Those who do not know they have the virus are more likely to spread it.

  • Viagra and other sexual-stimulant drugs allow older men to have sex more often and with more partners.

  • Older men and women might not think about HIV/AIDS or using condoms.

  • Health care providers may not ask 50-plus patients about their sexual history or drug use behavior, or discuss STDs.

Ganges warned that the trend will continue unless steps are taken to "educate this part of the population ... [to] understand that they need to adjust their behavior."

The New Jersey Association on HIV Over 50 is developing support groups in English and Spanish. For information, telephone Robert Skeist at 973-926-6826 or e-mail rskeist@sbhcs.com.

To contact HIV Wisdom for Older Women, telephone 913-722-3100 or visit www.hivwisdom.org. For information about rapid HIV testing and counseling in New Jersey, call the Department of Health and Senior Services, 800-624-2377.

Back to other news for August 10, 2005

Adapted from:
Herald News (West Paterson, N.J.)
08.02.05; Jessica Adler

A note from TheBody.com: Since this article was written, the HIV pandemic has changed, as has our understanding of HIV/AIDS and its treatment. As a result, parts of this article may be outdated. Please keep this in mind, and be sure to visit other parts of our site for more recent information!



  
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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
 
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