SAGE Commends Representative Carson (D-In) For Increasing Visibility For Older Adults With HIV/AIDS
“We commend Congressman Andre Carson for this resolution,” said Michael Adams, Executive Director of SAGE. “Like Representative Carson, we are concerned about the increasing rates of HIV infection in older adults, and the lack of information, prevention efforts, treatment, and research that is being targeted to address the needs of this vulnerable population receives.”
SAGE recently released a white paper on HIV/AIDS with recommendations that include:
- Increasing federal funding for basic research into the medical and mental health needs of older adults living with HIV;
- Removing the “age-cap” of age 64 for recommended routine HIV testing;
- Developing a Standards of Care specific to older persons with HIV;
- Prevention and education messaging to adults age 50 and overCounting prescriptions paid through AIDS Drugs Assistance Programs as Medicare Part D “true out-of-pocket costs” to enable older people with HIV to move past the Medicare “donut hole” and become eligible for Medicare Part D catastrophic coverage;
- andIntegrating HIV and aging services networks and providing the tools necessary to document, address and resolve complaints of discrimination on the basis of HIV status, sexual orientation and/or gender identity/expression.
"HIV/AIDS is becoming an older person’s disease,” said Karen Taylor, Director of Community Advocacy and Capacity Building at SAGE. “The number of adults age 50 and older with HIV/AIDS has increased 59% in just the last three years, and nearly 30% of all people with AIDS in the United States are 50 or older.”
She noted that the fastest growing infection rates among older adults are in communities of color, with the African-American community being affected 12 times more than whites (African-American women have the fastest growing infection rates). “These infections are primarily happening through unprotected heterosexual sex,” Taylor noted. “Yet there are almost no prevention or education messages directed to older adults. As a result, older adults are less inclined to believe they can be at risk for HIV/AIDS.”
For more information on SAGE’s HIV/AIDS policy recommendations and on the services for older people with HIV that SAGE provides, visit www.sageusa.org
Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) is the country's largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) older adults. Founded in 1978 and headquartered in New York City, SAGE is a national organization that offers supportive services and consumer resources to LGBT older adults and their caregivers, advocates for public policy changes that address the needs of LGBT older people, provides education and technical assistance for aging providers and LGBT organizations through its National Resource Center on LGBT Aging, and cultural competence training through SAGECare. With staff in New York City, Washington, DC and Chicago, SAGE coordinates a growing network of 30 SAGE affiliates in 20 states and the District of Columbia. Learn more at sageusa.org and lgbtagingcenter.org.