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HIV, AIDS, and Older Adults

Treatment and Prevention

There is no cure for HIV/AIDS. Once you are infected, there are a number of medical treatments available to help keep the HIV virus in check and to help guard against AIDS. If there's any chance you might be infected, get tested. Early medical treatment is important, especially for middle-aged and older people. Your doctor or medical provider can give you information about the kinds of treatments available. Doctors and medical providers should talk to patients about the risk of HIV/AIDS, get the patient's sex and drug histories, and encourage HIV testing if there is any chance that the patient has been infected.

Remember, HIV/AIDS is all about behaviors. By practicing all the following behaviors, you can greatly reduce your risk of getting HIV/AIDS:

  • If you are having sex, make sure your partner is HIV negative.


  • Use male or female condoms (latex or polyurethane) during sex.


  • Do not share needles or any other drug-use paraphernalia.


  • If you or your partner had a blood transfusion between 1978 and 1985, or an operation or blood transfusion in a developing country at any time, get tested.


Health agencies in most cities offer HIV testing. The following national organizations have information about HIV/AIDS:

601 E Street, NW
Washington, DC 20049

AARP has information on HIV/AIDS and its impact on mid-life and older adults. Ask about "It Can Happen to Me," a 28-minute videotape and discussion guide (available for loan or sale) for older adults or healthcare professionals.

Center for AIDS Prevention Studies at The University of California, San Francisco
74 New Montgomery Street
Suite 600
San Francisco, CA 94105

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National AIDS Hotline
1-800-344-7432 for Spanish
1-800-243-7889 (TTY)

The hotline operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It offers general information and referrals to resources in your area.

CDC National Prevention Information Network
PO Box 6003
Rockville, MD 20849
1-800-243-7012 (TTY)

This clearinghouse offers free government publications and information.

National Association on HIV Over Fifty
c/o Midwest AIDS Training and Education Center
808 S. Wood Street, MSC 779
Chicago, IL 60612

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Office of Communications
Building 31, Room 7A32
Bethesda, MD 220892

Part of the National Institutes of Health, the NIAID provides information about AIDS research and clinical trials.

Senior Action in a Gay Environment (SAGE)
305 7th Avenue, 16th Floor
New York, NY 10001

SAGE provides HIV/AIDS information and referrals for people age 50 and over.
Social Security Administration
Call your local office or:

WebMD Public Information from the U.S. National Institutes of Health

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