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Which older population groups have been most affected by HIV/AIDS?

Research reveals that the number of older adults living with HIV/AIDS in the U.S. is the largest ever in history. Often referred to as the “aging of the epidemic,” older adults with HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) tend to fall into three groups: those who were infected earlier in life and are aging with the disease; the newly diagnosed (those who could have been living with HIV for any amount of time but were only recently diagnosed), and the newly infected (those whose infection is in the beginning stages). Newly infected older adults account for 16% of all new HIV diagnoses annually.

While limited, the available research on older adults with HIV suggests that HIV rates are increasing among adults ages 50 and older -- and that the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) epidemic has disproportionately affected lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) elders and marginalized sub­groups within LGBT older adult populations. Studies have identified older men who have sex with men, transgender elders (especially transgender elders of color) and older lesbians as populations adversely affected by HIV/AIDS. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that among adults 50 and older, Blacks and Latinos were 12 times and five times more likely, respectively, to contract HIV than their white counterparts.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.