AIDS and Older Persons: An International Perspective
The impact of the worldwide AIDS epidemic on persons aged 50 years or older 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 for infection. The place of older persons in the epidemic deserves international attention because their lives are being significantly affected in a variety of ways. Because most of the epidemic occurs in the developing regions of the world, especially in Africa and Asia, efforts to understand and deal with the concerns of older persons in relation to AIDS in those settings need expansion. Although older persons represent a nonnegligible minority of the reported global caseload, a far larger number of older persons 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 infection 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 affected by the epidemic are to be addressed.