havvacc text resource: “ewww, old people doing it” says commenter to janet st.james’ wfaa-tv report about older americans with AIDS (007)

richardkearns.awo.shadow-light-moi-0309091540Older Americans are new face of HIV/AIDS
By JANET ST. JAMES / WFAA-TV [dallas-ft. worth]
01:07 PM CDT on Saturday, November 1, 2008

When people think of HIV, certain populations come to mind; perhaps drug users or homosexuals.

Few think of grandparents or successful, attractive, heterosexual women like “Barbara,” who found out she was HIV positive at age 55.

This divorced businesswoman had been in what she thought was a monogamous relationship.

“People in our generation didn’t have to worry about STDs,” Barbara said. “I didn’t think I was at risk in any way.”

Experts say older Americans like Barbara — returning to the dating scene after being divorced or widowed — are the emerging face of the virus that causes AIDS.

“The Viagra and Cialis drugs have created a sexual revolution in the older population,” explained Will Handy, HIV counselor at the Legacy Counseling Center of Dallas. “People aren’t paying attention to that. The people over 50 and 60 are paying a lot of attention to that. But we’re seeing a lot of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV.”

In fact, statistics show 15 percent of all new HIV cases are linked to people over the age of 50.

“My newest patient that I’ve seen recently is a 72-year-old that was recently diagnosed with HIV,” said Baylor University Medical Center infectious disease specialist Dr. Louis Sloan,
Because HIV/AIDS isn’t typically associated with seniors, it often isn’t diagnosed until it’s life-threatening, Dr. Sloan said.

Therapists at the Legacy Counseling Center in Dallas say the stigma is perhaps greatest in the older crowd.

One female client, diagnosed with HIV at 63, revealed the worst part wasn’t hearing the letters “HIV,” but hearing her family’s reaction.

“My family, for a minute they stopped even acknowledging me,” said the unidentified woman. “They wouldn’t even let me stay in their garage.”

The Centers for Disease Control is calling for routine HIV/AIDS testing for adults.

But counselors say even promoting condom use when pregnancy is no longer an issue is a challenge.

“Since education about HIV has been directed almost exclusively toward younger people, a lot of people over 50 figure, ‘this isn’t a problem for me,'” Handy said. “But it is.”

That’s why “Barbara” — whose life has been forever changed by HIV — has a message for other mature adults re-entering the dating scene:

“You have to be responsible. If you don’t know, you could die.”

E-mail jstjames@wfaa.com

from comments [remember it’s texas where they just put away HIVer for 35 years for spitting at an officer; also, texas the state of mind by barbara jordan —rk]:

• I want to take this moment to thank the generous group of people who brought this lovely little present to the U.S. back in the early 80,s.
I speak of course, of our wonderful homosexual community.
Thanks so much, guys.

• This article is really disgusting.


• ewww, old people doing it.

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