Increase Your Awareness of HIV/AIDS in Older Adults
Healthcare providers know that older adults are different from younger adults in many ways. Many older adult patients are at risk for HIV/AIDS infection and the symptoms that may have been attributed to "aging" or to chronic disease may actually be HIV/AIDS infection.
According to Stoff et al, "A key issue in the study of HIV/AIDS and aging is to identify and characterize the ways in which older adults differ from younger adults and suggest the underlying mechanism that might account for these differences. Compelling evidence exists that natural history and symptom manifestations of HIV infection in the elderly substantially differ from those seen in younger cohorts. Relative to their younger counterparts, older adults living with HIV/AIDS
Important Things to Remember:
“Older adults may be at greater risk because of their age and the combination of denial and extreme secrecy. Risk may be intensified by an already compromised immune system related to age or to other age-related health problems. Erectile changes may make condom use difficult and vaginal changes may make women more vulnerable to viral infections. Assumptions by older adults that they are safe because they are monogamous, “nearly monogamous,” know their partners, or do not engage in receptive anal sex may create false security.”(Linsk 2000)
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