The impact of the worldwide AIDS epidemic on persons age 50 and over has received relatively little consideration except in the United States where interest has focused almost exclusively on older persons living with AIDS or at risk of infection. The place of older persons in the epidemic deserves international attention because their lives are being significantly affected in a variety of ways. Since most of the epidemic occurs in the developing regions, especially Africa and Asia, efforts to understand and deal with the concerns of older persons in relation to AIDS in those settings needs expansion. Although older persons represent a non-negligible minority of the reported global caseload, a far higher proportion are affected through the illness and death of their adult children and younger generation relatives who contract AIDS. From a global perspective, a broader concern encompassing those who are affected through the infections of others rather than a narrow concern with those who are at risk or infected themselves is called for if the needs of the large majority of older persons adversely impacted by the epidemic is to be addressed.