AIDS - Never Too Old
Washington Post--Health (07/17/01) Vol. 35, No. 27 p.10; Nicolosi, Michelle

The AIDS epidemic has found its way into the 50 and older crowd, as more HIV cases in this demographic are being diagnosed. Several years ago, the HIV-infection rate for seniors began to climb, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Statistics show that adults in the 50-plus group accounted for 13.4 percent of new cases in 1999, up from 11.6 percent two years prior. A 1996 report by the CDC found infections among men in this group rose 94 percent between 1991 and 1996 and rose 106 percent in women. The No. 1 reason for infections is heterosexual sex. Researchers say most seniors expose themselves to the virus through unprotected sex because they feel they and their partners are not high risk carriers. The problem has inspired the creation of a federally sponsored group called the National Association of HIV Over Fifty (NAHOF), which aims to contain and possibly lower infections by educating seniors.


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