Survivors face more problems as they age

Older people now represent 1 in 3 of those living with HIV, but the government isn’t ready for this fast-growing aging population, and social care is a ticking ‘timebomb’ as more older people living with HIV face loneliness and poverty, says the Terrence Higgins Trust.

Michael said he is worried about life in a care home where HIV treatments are not widely educated and a stigma is still present. “Care home staff are not usually trained in working with people who have HIV, as they’ve never had to deal with it before. So like anyone else, they will have their own pre-conceived ideas about HIV, which could be decades out of date.”

As HIV diagnoses are rising in people over 50, Michael said the only way to improve social care is education. “We also need to educate GPs, care homes and society as a whole about HIV, so that those of us who are growing older with HIV are getting the support we need to live well in older age.”

The report also reveals that six out of ten older people with HIV are living in poverty – double that seen in the general population; eight out of ten experienced moderate to high levels of loneliness – three times more than the general population; one in four respondents said they would have no one to help them if they ever needed support with daily tasks, and eight out of ten are concerned about whether they will be able to access adequate social care in the future.

For Your Activist, it is quite simple. It is wrong to discriminate against people with a sniffle; and it is wrong to discriminate against people with HIV.

What does the future hold for people growing old with HIV?