HIV & the Elderly: How Age Affects Your Risk of Infection
National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day is observed on September 18 every year. It was pioneered by The AIDS Institute with an objective of increasing awareness about the rising HIV cases. At the same time, the day aims to throw light on the HIV patients, especially those above 50, who are living a normal and healthy life under proper treatment.
Want to get tested for HIV in Arlington? You can do so at your nearest STD clinic. As the world wakes up to yet another epidemic, it is high time to take this potentially fatal infection seriously.
Why the emphasis on elder people?
This awareness day, which is observed in September, is especially for elder people. HIV can infect anybody. However, it has been found that the elderly population is less likely to undergo HIV testing. Besides, people above 50 may have chronic conditions like heart diseases or illnesses like cancer. These diseases can complicate the treatment for HIV infection.
That’s why it is important for the elder people to take extra care of their sexual health.
Shocking revelations by the CDC
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals that, every year, thousands of elderly people get diagnosed with HIV. And these are people who underwent testing. There may be thousands more who did not undergo testing. They might be infected and they don’t know!
Urgent care clinic conducts STD testing for all age groups. From teenagers to the elderly, everybody can walk in the clinic and ask for a test without hesitation. The clinic, as a gesture towards respecting its patients’ privacy, keeps their identity confidential. This helps people undergo testing and treatment without feeling embarrassed.
The good news
As per a statement from the CDC, the elder population infected with HIV is able to live longer and healthier thanks to antiretroviral therapy (ART). This has largely reduced the fatality rate. This is also true for other age groups.
So, being diagnosed with HIV is, no longer, like a death sentence. You can immediately start ART and pave a healthier future for yourselves.
Importance of timely treatment
When you get tested for HIV in Arlington at your nearest STD clinic, the doctor would start your treatment on the same day in case you come out positive in test results. This saves precious time because, for an HIV-infected person, time is of great value. The more you delay, the faster the virus multiplies in your body.
According to doctors, HIV is best treated at the earliest. Delay in treatment can adversely affect your health, as the virus is known to attack the body’s immune system. This renders you vulnerable to opportunistic infections.
Added risk factors for elder people
Risk factors for the elder people are same as those for the younger people. These include: not using condoms while having sex, sharing needles and/or sex toys, and having multiple sex partners.
The elder people have a few added risk factors due to their age. These include:
• Many older couples believe they need not visit an urgent care clinic for STD testing, as they are already past their age and won’t get STDs.
• Elderly women experience dryness of vagina and thinning of vaginal walls. This increases the risk of virus contraction, as there are chances of tearing of the thin wall during sex.
• Older people are not worried about pregnancy, as women generally attain menopause. So, they are not bothered about wearing condoms.
• Elderly people may not always be fulfilled through natural ways of having sex. So, they may use sex toys. Sharing of sex toys is one of the risk factors for HIV transmission.
National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day strives to spread awareness and shed wrong beliefs among the elderly population. Your nearest clinic helps you get tested for HIV in Arlington.