Older Gay Men with HIV AIDS Face Inadequate Care

Older Gay Men with HIV AIDS Face Inadequate Care

It is interesting to know how many people would think ‘old’ when the thought of gay come to mind. Personally, the thought of gay often paints itself with the faces of teenagers and young men under age forty. Such a perception may be grounded in the fact that homosexuality started gaining public acceptance only in recent decades. A gay uncle of mine who tested HIV positive at age 57 resigned to his fate at home medicating himself despite family encouragement to seek residential care after the disease started taking a toll on his health, at the age of 65.

This experience inspired a desire to explore the experiences of older gay men living with HIV/AIDS. The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has noted that the HIV afflicts bisexual men and gays in deeper ways than it does any other social group. Notable is also the fact that of all Americans diagnosed with HIV, 17% are over 50 whereby for those aged 55 40% of the HIV cases were detected alongside AIDS. Further, CDC notes that of all people diagnosed with AIDS in the U.S in 2014, 54% were either gay or bisexual men (n.p.). Aging with HIV/AIDS is already a challenge, being gay is most likely to deepen this challenge.

While the stigma experienced by older gay living with HIV/AIDS prevents them from seeking adequate care, the healthcare system is generally ill equipped for adequate care to this group. The subsequent parts of this paper explores health care of HIV/AIDS among gay men aged 50 and above in terms of perceptions, access to care and current interventions.   Older gay men living with HIV/AIDS experience triple stigma; based on HIV status, sexual orientation and age, all of which negatively affect the quality of life in the social group (Slater, 2015; CDC, n.p.). Apart from stigma, Cahill and Valadez have identified that the healthcare system is not adequately equipped to deal with the problems presented by HIV/AIDS among an aging gay population (2013).


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