HIV can affect everyone and does not discriminate against gender, race, ethnicity, where one lives, or age.
About 1 in 4 adults in the United States who are living with HIV are 50 or older. This group is the fastest-growing population with the infection, with 18 percent of new HIV diagnoses occurring among people age 50 and older.
What is HIV and AIDS?
HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a virus that compromises the immune system. A person who is HIV-positive can develop an opportunistic infection, which can lead to the development of AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome).
What are the symptoms?
When the body becomes infected, antibodies against HIV begin to form between 6 – 12 weeks. During this period, flu-like symptoms can occur, including:
- Muscle aches
- Swollen lymph nodes and glands
- Unexplained weight loss
- Chronic diarrhea
Without treatment, HIV usually progresses to AIDS between 8 – 12 years. With treatment, symptoms may not be present for 15 years or longer.
What are risk factors for HIV transmission?
- Diagnosis of hepatitis, tuberculosis (TB), or a sexually transmitted disease (STD), such as syphilis
- Received a blood transfusion or clotting factor during 1978 – 1985
- Injected drugs, legal or illicit, during which equipment (such as needles, syringes, cotton, water) and blood were shared with others
- Had unprotected sex
Why is it important to consider HIV and aging?
Sept. 18 is National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day. Launched in 2008 by The AIDS Institute, this annual day of awareness highlights the complex issues related to HIV prevention, care, and treatment for aging populations.
Visit theaidsinstitute.org to learn more about the aging process and its impact on HIV/AIDS.
How can I get tested for HIV?
You have options when it comes to getting free, confidential HIV tests. Check out these resources for information on testing locations near you:
How does ARJ treat HIV?
Our pharmacists and specialty-trained infusion nurses provide customized care to treat people with HIV. Early treatment makes a difference—and with advanced options, HIV-positive people are living longer, fuller, more hopeful lives.
Source: hiv.gov »
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