HIV/AIDS in elderly population: a relevant intervention need
M.E. Lemos Fernanes
Associação Saude da Familia, Coordenação Geral, São Paulo, Brazil
Issues: The twentieth century was marked by a worldwide phenomenon of aging of the population. World Health Organization defined the elderly all individuals at aged 60 or over. In Brazil there are 19 million people in this age group. These changes indicates a significant impact on public health. Since the discovering of AIDS in early 80´s, data shows an increasing number of cases among people of 60 years old and over. Furthermore aging reduces the perception of risk of acquiring and transmitting HIV/AIDS /STD through sexual transmission. This fact reflects on non adoption of safer sex behavior. International data also shows that elderly men quite frequently have sex with younger women. Increased sexual life of the elderly has been facilitated by the use of drugs to allow erection and an active sexual life. Despite those evidences, there is no government or NGO response in Brazil and other developing countries to face this problem.
Description: An one year intervention for the prevention and care of HIV/AIDS/STD among the elderly population was designed and is under implementation with funding from private sector in Brazil. Intervention includes participation and ongoing empowerment of the elderly people to act as peer educators, conduction of education sessions, workshops, distribution of educational material, condoms, establishment of a network with civil society and referring to medical care at specialized public services in the city of Sao Paulo.
Lessons learned: Despite the relevant epidemiological evidence of HIV/AIDS/ among elderly there is a insignificant response targeting elderly people in Brazil but also in other countries.
Next steps: There is an urgent need to implement intervention models such as the described above to be replicated to face the growing numbers of HIV/AIDS among the old population.
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