The physicians behind HIV-Age.org want your doctors to understand that sex doesn’t end at 50, and neither do sexually transmitted infections. The group cites Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that STI diagnoses in people age 65 and older are increasing along the same lines as in the 20-24-year-old age group. Another study showed that among HIV-positive New Yorkers who are 50 or older, nearly 20 percent engage in condomless sex. This is a problem for people with HIV especially, the group notes, because doctors often “do not believe that older adults, and especially older adults with HIV, are sexually active. This failure to engage the older adult, and particularly the older adult living with HIV, in a conversation about sexual health and the need for safe sex practices has consequences, which include the spread of HIV.”
HIV-Age.org notes that a landmark 2007 study found that 73 percent of people age 57-64 reported having sex in the previous year, as did 53 percent of those age 64-75 and 26 percent of those age 75-85. It’s one reason HIV-Age.org is supporting “Age Is Not a Condom,” a social media campaign created by the AIDS Community Research Initiative of America, with collaboration this year from the Graying of AIDS. The campaign has been an annual New York City initiative.
FACTOID! The “Age Is Not a Condom” concept was created by the designer Andy Chen when he was a Fulbright Scholar at the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design at the Royal College of Art in London, as part of his design project “Imaging Intimacy.”