HIV and Aging

Elder Think Tank offers HIV discussion

by Yusef Najafi
Published on October 2, 2008, 12:00am | Comments

Getting older does not make you any less susceptible to HIV and AIDS.

''For both gay and heterosexual people, there's the disbelief that somehow if you can't get pregnant, you're not going to get other STDs,'' says Joe Izzo, a trained geriatric social worker and volunteer consultant for The Center's Elder Think Tank series. The Center is the metro area's gay community center.

''We also have gay men, over the age of 50, if they're still sexually active and not practicing safe sex they can be infected in the same way a young person can.''

To help educate GLBT elders about HIV prevention efforts, The Center's Elder Think Tank group will present ''HIV Over 50'' at their next meeting, Sunday, Oct. 5, at 2 p.m. at The Center, 1111 14th St. NW, Suite 350.

Dr. Shannon Hader, head of the D.C. Department of Health HIV/AIDS Administration, will discuss prevention methods; and Dr. Linda Green, from Prince George's Hospital Center, will discuss treatment.

Izzo says there's a lot to talk about.

''Elderly people, many of whom are on insulin for diabetes, and because they're on such very low incomes, they will wind up sharing the needles, with their other elderly friends....

''[HIV and aging] is still a very pertinent issue. It's not something we can stick our heads in the sand about.''