havvacc text resource: HIV/AIDS & aging: a view from the inside at aids-write (003)


[Wednesday, October 29th, 2008, Los Angeles] when i first started publishing aids-write.org 3+ years ago, as a person with AIDS (PWA) over 50, i represented 10% of the national HIV-infected population. today i represent a quarter to a third of that population. in 5+ years i will represent 60% of HIVers in the united states.

i live in an assisted care institution, as will many of my brothers and sisters in chronic infection, who are poised to enter the assisted healthcare system over the next 5 years. in its current state, that system is not a healthcare resource to any community, but rather, little better than a meat locker empire, charging average residents for 90-95% of their ssdi medicare payments for increasingly fewer and increasingly inadequeate services. and it is difficult to negotiate the system — my personal experience.

this is the first installation of an ongoing series of reports looking at the issue from where i sit: on the inside. here’s some basic soundbite- and chart-type stuff for your consideration. will publish a set of links to previous posts at aids-write on the topic at a later date. both poetry and statistics.

look for more.



“In many ways, this population [HIVers over 50] is a mirror opposite of what the mainstream aging community looks like,” says Karen Taylor, director of advocacy and training for the New York-based Services and Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Elders, or SAGE, the nation’s oldest senior network. “The average senior in the United States lives with one other person; two-thirds of LGBT seniors live alone. If you don’t have those informal support networks built into your life, then everything else becomes a bigger issue. Who forces you to go to the doctor? What happens if you fall?” [my bolding —rk]

from jessica bennett, two newsweek web articles: getting older in 1) HIV/AIDS community and in 2) gay community (982)

ca charts old

when aids-write first started covering this story, this is how it looked on a chart from la county:

old aging barchart

here are the figures and snips from the new cdc report

Prevention Challenges

two guys over 50

For persons over 50 years of age, many of the risk factors for HIV infection are the same as those for younger persons.

Sexual Risk Factors

Many older adults are sexually active and thus are as vulnerable as younger persons to acquiring HIV through sexual transmission. A recent survey of sexual behavior among older adults showed that 73% of persons aged 57–64 had had sex during the past year, as had 53% of those aged 65–74 and 26% of those aged 75–85 [3].

cdc new figures and charts

new cdc barchart


HIV/AIDS in 2005
(based on data from 33 states with long-term, confidential name-based HIV reporting)

Persons aged 50 and older accounted for

• 15% of new HIV/AIDS diagnoses [1]
• 24% of persons living with HIV/AIDS (increased from 17% in 2001) [1]

Additionally, in 2005, there were racial/ethnic disparities in HIV/AIDS diagnoses among persons 50 years of age and older. The rates of HIV/AIDS among persons 50 and older were 12 times as high among blacks (51.7/100,000) and 5 times as high among Hispanics (21.4/100,000) compared with whites (4.2/100,000) [2].
AIDS in 2005

Persons aged 50 years and older accounted for

• 19% of all AIDS diagnoses [1]
• 29% of persons living with AIDS [1]
• 35% of all deaths of persons with AIDS [1].

aids cases by age

AIDS Cases by Age

Of the estimated number of AIDS cases in the 50 states and the District of Columbia, persons’ ages at time of diagnosis were distributed as follows.

Age (Years) Estimated # of AIDS Cases in 2006 Cumulative Estimated # of AIDS Cases, Through 2006*
Under 13 38 9,156
Ages 13-14 73 1,078
Ages 15-19 401 5,626
Ages 20-24 1,669 36,225
Ages 25-29 3,423 117,099
Ages 30-34 4,349 197,530
Ages 35-39 6,402 213,573
Ages 40-44 7,298 170,531
Ages 45-49 5,628 107,207
Ages 50-54 3,687 59,907
Ages 55-59 2,071 32,190
Ages 60-64 955 17,303
Ages 65 or older 835 15,074
*Includes persons with a diagnosis of AIDS from the beginning of the epidemic through 2006.

hiv/aids cases by age

HIV/AIDS Cases by Age

Of the estimated number of HIV/AIDS cases diagnosed in the 33 states with confidential name-based HIV infection reporting, persons’ ages at time of diagnosis were distributed as follows.

Age (Years)

Estimated Number of HIV/AIDS Cases in 2006

Under 13 135
Ages 13-14 41
Ages 15-19 1,332
Ages 20-24 3,886
Ages 25-29 4,603
Ages 30-34 4,466
Ages 35-39 5,442
Ages 40-44 5,718
Ages 45-49 4,204
Ages 50-54 2,718
Ages 55-59 1,438
Ages 60-64 714
Ages 65 or older 618

These numbers do not represent reported case counts. Rather, these numbers are point estimates, which result from adjustments of reported case counts. The reported case counts have been adjusted for reporting delays and for redistribution of cases in persons initially reported without an identified risk factor, but not for incomplete reporting.

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