Number of Older People Living With HIV/AIDS in Michigan Doubled Over Past Five Years
The number of HIV-positive people age 50 and older living in Michigan has doubled over the past five years, from 1,135 in January 1999 to 2,394 in January 2004, the Detroit News reports. Although some HIV-positive people are living to an older age because of effective treatment and care, other older adults are contracting the disease after age 50, the News reports. More older people are maintaining active sex lives, but many do not use condoms because they do not see themselves as at risk for HIV infection, perhaps because HIV/AIDS prevention messages are targeted toward people ages 40 and younger, according to the News. In addition, some health care workers are reluctant to discuss sex with their older patients and do not recognize early signs of infection because they can be similar to diseases that commonly affect aging populations, the News reports. Mallory Waldman, associate director for Home Support Services at the Oakland Livingston Human Service Agency, said, "We've seen a surprising jump in people over 50 who suddenly realize that their health problems are not aging problems, but they are infected" (Hayes Taylor, Detroit News, 3/25).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.