1 in 6 New HIV Cases Hits the Over 50s

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 7,391 of 44,071 of new HIV diagnoses in the U.S. were among patients 50 and older in 2014. That’s about 17 percent. According to The Washington Post, older Americans tend to be more sick when the virus is discovered, because doctors don’t routinely test for HIV when treating older patients, even when guidelines suggest it. The newspaper reported that many health-care providers are hesitant to inquire about older patients’ sex lives and often attribute symptoms of the virus to age-related health problems like heart disease. But health officials have attributed the rise to several medical and social factors, including the increased use of Viagra, which has extended mens’ sex lives. Women over 50, officials have said, are often not in the habit of using condoms for safe sex, putting them at risk for contracting the virus.