The Prevalence Of Hiv / Aids

1532 Words Nov 3rd, 2014 7 Pages
Introduction:
Individuals infected with human immunodeficiency virus infection/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) are living longer lives and changing the perception of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. There has been extensive research conducted on high risk groups for HIV/AIDS but little has been done to research and address the social aspect of aging and HIV/AIDS. It is important to have a more conclusive understanding of HIV/AIDS in the aging population due to the climbing rate of new infection among older American adults aged 50 and greater. Primary themes that will be examined are how the prevalence of HIV/AIDS is associated with older American’s attitudes toward sexual health education, ageism, stigma and mental health. Although
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Lack of Sexual Education:
Sexual transmission is the most likely cause of HIV/AIDS in older populations. Older adults predominantly lack knowledge about the contraction of HIV/AIDS infections and many have the presumption that they are not at risk for contracting the disease. Inadequate knowledge about HIV/AIDS contraction combined with the inability to apprehend the risks, can result in older adults delaying their diagnosis and/or go untreated.2 The assumption that the older population is at a lower risk of contracting HIV/AIDS is often times related to the presumption that older adults are not sexually active. However, literature shows that there is an increasing use of medications for improving sexual performance in older population. This, combined with the lack of educational messages targeted to this age group may be further contributing to the increased risks of older adults’ contracting HIV/AIDS.3 Furthermore, it has been concluded that older adults are less likely to consistently use condoms when engaging in sexual intercourse, which can increase their risk as well.
Older women also face a specific risk of contracting HIV/AIDS due to biological changes they experience as they age. As women get older or reach their post-menopausal phase of their lives, they experience a thinning of the vaginal wall, which increases their

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