With people over 50 expected to make up a majority of U.S. residents infected with the HIV virus by 2015, there's some urgency to unraveling the "complex treatment challenges" HIV poses to older Americans, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Health organizations have had some success over the years in getting their message out on how to prevent AIDS. But they may have overlooked one key group. At last count nearly 27 percent of people living with AIDS in America were 50 or older.
During the last decade, AIDS cases among the over-50 crowd have soared from 16,000 in 1995 to 90,000 in 2003 — a 500 percent increase.
AIDS activists say that due to Viagra and similar drugs, older Americans are sexually active like never before.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were more than six new cases of STDs per 10,000 men over 40 in 2008, up almost 50 percent since 1996.
The reported cases of syphilis and chlamydia among older adults outpaced the nation's average, according to one analysis. Among all age groups nationwide, reported cases of syphilis increased 60 percent between 2005 and 2009, while in the 55 to 64 age group it increased 70 percent. Meanwhile, the incidences of chlamydia rose 27 percent among all ages, and double that among those age 55 to 64
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