Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Older Africans failing to get enough help to overcome HIV/AIDs

Dear Global Action on Aging Friend,

The News Agency AFP reported on October 19, 2012, that older citizens in Sub-Saharan Africa are likely to see a 200 percent increase in HIV infection over the next 30 years.  Experts  9.1 million Africans living with HIV by 2040.  Unfairly, HIV programs often ignore older people when they collect data.  As a result, death comes earlier to elders with HIV.  Older people often don't know the facts about HIV/AIDS and they start getting ARV treatment very late, if at all.  In summary, African data shows that the nations give primary attention to those who are 15 to 49 years old people.  Older people are often not tested, don't get early diagnoses or adequate medication. 

Why is this happening?  Robert Comming, an expert from the School of Public Health at the University of Sydney says, " . .there seems to be an attitude that people over 50 don't have sex and therefore can't get infected and that's clearly incorrect."  Clearly, older people are overlooked . . . is it because they are old? 

What do you think?  Are older people getting tested in your country?  What is holding them back?
Please send in your comments. Global Action wants to know what you think.

Have a good week,

Susanne Paul for Global Action on Aging

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