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

August 10, 2005

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:

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.

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




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