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HIV/AIDS threatens older generation

By Vision Reporter

Added 8th April 2009 03:00 AM

Grain of science
Older people face greater HIV infection risks, according to a study published by the World Health Organisation (WHO) recently.

Grain of science
Older people face greater HIV infection risks, according to a study published by the World Health Organisation (WHO) recently.

Grain of science
Older people face greater HIV infection risks, according to a study published by the World Health Organisation (WHO) recently.

The report said doctors are failing to diagnose HIV in older patients, who are exposed to greater risk of infection as drugs to cure erection problems extend their sex lives.

There are more sexually active people aged 50 and upwards than ever before. The problem is that HIV is rarely considered as a cause of illness in older individuals.

Screening for senior people is less common yet HIV prevalence and incidences seem surprisingly high and the risk factors are totally unexplored. The older you are, the shorter the time from diagnosis to the onset of AIDS.

While the sexual activity of older people in poor countries has not been studied, and there is no data about the prevalence of HIV among the aged in the developing world, the WHO Bulletin said similar trends were occurring there.

Older women have a higher risk of contracting HIV if they have sex without a condom because of thinning with age of the vaginal mucous membrane, which gives natural lubrication.

Antiretroviral drugs have dramatically extended the life expectancy of people who catch HIV but for those infected with HIV after the age of 65, the study said, life expectancy is only four years.

“Waning immunity with age may be the reason,” it said.

HIV/AIDS threatens older generation

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