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Friday, November 5, 2010

Older Adults Make Safe Sex Video (2:22)


You know what’s frightening? Nearly one-third of all people living with HIV/AIDS are aged 50 and older. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 115,000 of the 475,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in the United States are 50+. That’s nearly double the number in 2001. The real numbers are likely higher because many people with HIV/AIDS remain undiagnosed.

Undiagnosed and infected people are estimated to cause two-thirds of infections.  Because many senior women are postmenopausal, they may not use condoms with the vigilance they would for preventing pregnancy. More sexual experimentation among seniors, including some increased by drugs like Viagra, also promote the likelihood of unprotected sex.

You know what’s great? More seniors and others are paying attention to these statistics. They are understanding that rising rates of HIV/AIDS in their population require diligently using condoms, no sharing of needles, testing for HIV, and discussing HIV/AIDS with their doctors and others. They can make good use of resources available such as the National Institute on Aging.

But so much more can and should be done to get the message out about safe sex for seniors. Like any change, people can begin wherever they are to become part of the solution. Seniors at the Michael-Ann Russell Jewish Community Center in North Miami Beach, FL decided to use their talents to create clay figures and make a claymation video titled “Sex and the Seniors.” Ari Odzer of WTVJ reports on their informative and entertaining video about a very serious matter.


Frances Shani Parker, Author