Local organizer urges people 65 and over to take preventive action against HIV / AIDS


NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) – September 18 is National HIV / AIDS and Aging Awareness Day. According to The AIDS Institute, people aged 50 and over are the fastest growing HIV-infected population.

According to the CDC, approximately 1.2 million Americans are living with HIV infection. Director Gary Roberts wants to make the aging population aware that this disease is preventable.

“HIV is still a problem among older people. Because again 40% of men and women over 65-80 are still sexually active, ”said Roberts.

The AIDS Institute says many older people mistake HIV symptoms for the normal pains of aging.

“The aging population they feel like, well I can’t get pregnant so I don’t need to use condoms but again they put themselves at risk for an STD or disease sexually communicable, ”said Roberts.

Gary Roberts works at the Brown Family Health Center in Nacogdoches and urges people to come get tested for free.

“Across the country, every nine and a half minutes someone is newly infected with the HIV virus, the virus that causes AIDS. So we’re trying to reduce that number across the state, our country, our world, ”Roberts said.

Blinda O’Shaw attended one of Robert’s lectures at Nacogdoches Senior Villages. She said she was so impressed that she went to get tested.

“I saw friends die of AIDS many years ago. It leaves an impression that never goes away. If you’re going to be sexually active at any age, protect yourself, ”O’Shaw said.

Roberts said to prevent HIV, take protective measures and use condoms when participating in sexual activity.

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