Older people in the United States are more likely than younger people to be diagnosed with HIV infection late in the course of the infection, which results in their starting treatment late and possibly suffering more immune-system damage.
Late diagnoses can occur because health care providers may not always test older people for HIV infection, and older people may not consider themselves to be at risk of HIV infection or may mistake HIV symptoms for those of normal aging and not consider HIV as a cause.
Many older people are sexually active, including those living with HIV, and may have the same HIV risk factors as younger people, including a lack of knowledge about HIV and how to prevent getting it, as well as having multiple sex partners.
Stigma negatively affects people’s quality of life, self-image, and behaviors, and may prevent them from seeking HIV care and disclosing their HIV status.
Aging with HIV infection also presents special challenges for preventing other diseases because both age and HIV increase risk for cardiovascular disease, thin bones, and certain cancers.
Older HIV patients and their care providers need to maximize prevention efforts against these conditions and remain vigilant for early signs of illness.
They also need to be careful about interactions between the medications used to treat HIV and those used to treat common age-related conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, elevated cholesterol, and obesity.
Most lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ)* youth are happy and thrive during their adolescent years.
Going to a school that creates a safe and supportive learning environment for all students and having caring and accepting parents are especially important.
This helps all youth achieve good grades and maintain good mental and physical health.
However, some LGBTQ youth are more likely than their heterosexual peers to experience difficulties in their lives and school environments, such as violence.
* Variations of this acronym are used throughout the Web page to reflect relevant populations.
Many studies consider lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth but do not include transgender and questioning youth.
Violence can include behaviors such as bullying, teasing, harassment, physical assault, and suicide-related behaviors.