Journal Article

Normalizing HIV Testing in the Older Adult

The National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior found that 5.1% of men over age 61 used condoms in the last ten vaginal intercourse behaviors. Over the last decade the CDC reports that between 16-17%, 1 in 6, of new HIV diagnoses occurs in adults age 50 and older. There has been no evidence of a decline in these percentages. A study of PCPs found general agreement that methodologies need to be put in place to increase testing for HIV of older adults. The PCPs believed that HIV testing must be inclusive of testing for all STI’s. Increasing testing was viewed as a collaborative process wherein HIV testing should be encouraged at every opportunity in the delivery of health care. The theme repeatedly heard was the need to standardize and therefore normalize testing for HIV. The PCPs commented that prompts were needed at every level to encourage the healthcare providers to engage the patient in prevention messages/discussion. The article shows that there are multiple missed opportunities to engage the older adult on this issue. One compelling example was the fact that 44% of men age 65 and older have erectile dysfunction. Yet even when treatment occurs for ED, there is rarely a discussion of HIV prevention/testing.

Purpose of this Program: The AAHIVM, ACRIA and AGS (collectively, the “Sponsors,” “we” or “us”) are sponsors of this Website and through it seek to address the unique needs and challenges that older adults of diverse populations living with HIV face as they age. However, the information in this Website is not meant to supplant the advice provided in a doctor-patient relationship.

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The American Academy of HIV Medicine is a professional organization that supports the HIV practitioner and promotes accessible, quality care for all Americans living with HIV disease. Our membership of HIV practitioners and credentialed HIV Specialists™, HIV Experts™, and HIV Pharmacists™ provide direct care to the majority of HIV patients in the US.