Hiv And The Elderly
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Though usually associated with the younger generations, HIV/AIDS is increasingly being seen among senior citizens, as per records furnished by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC. Out of 1,039,987 cases of AIDS reported in the year 2003, 315,509, i.e., thirty percent of the affected were over 45 years old.
One of the main causes of this rise in HIV/AIDS among elderly citizens is attributed to longer lives and the general misconception that older citizens are not that sexually active. Many health experts are blaming medications like Viagra for the rise of HIV/AIDS among older adults. They feel that sexual enhancement medication have contributed to increase of HIV/AIDS amongst seniors because now seniors can sexually active, but they do not resort to using contraceptives as they are not worried about falling pregnant. However, majority of medical fraternity have still not bothered to catch on to this fact or the impact of sex enhancement medications in seniors.
A study conducted by the University of Chicago found that thirty-seven percent of women and sixty percent of men over the age of 50 engaged in sexual intercourse at least a few times every month. Older women often disregard the importance of using a condom, once they hit menopause.
Another problem most doctors face that prevents the correct diagnosis of HIV/AIDS in elderly is the symptoms, which include loss of weight, dementia, fatigue, night sweats and swelling of the lymph nodes are associated with aging, hence the difficulty in recognizing the presence of the HIV virus. Some physicians think that the spread of HIV/AIDS among older adults is largely because older people assume they are not susceptible to this disease, while doctors and the main caregivers do not associate this problem with an older adult.
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