Sacramento County, Calif. Plans To Address Housing, Health Care Issues for Aging HIV-Positive People, Official Says
Sacramento County, Calif., will create plans to address issues that aging HIV-positive people face, including finding housing and proper health care, Adrienne Rogers, Ryan White CARE Act program coordinator for the county said recently, the Sacramento Bee reports. According to Rogers, more than 70% of HIV-positive people in Sacramento, Placer, Calif., and El Dorado, Calif., counties who receive federally funded HIV services are older than 40 and more than 27% are older than 50. "Just caring for seniors is generally more expensive, and you're adding the normal cost of seniors on top of a pretty complicated and expensive disease," Rogers said, adding, "Our biggest concern is finding them affordable housing." Gary Myerscough, board member for the National Association on HIV Over Fifty and a Sacramento resident, is advocating for increased funding for older HIV-positive people in the reauthorization of the CARE Act. According to Myerscough, the HIV-related health care system originally was designed to reduce the suffering of terminally ill patients. "We have lived longer in a system that wasn't designed to take care of elderly people," Myerscough said. According to Stephen Karpiak, research director of the AIDS Community Research Initiative of America, older HIV-positive people "should be considered seriously" in the CARE Act reauthorization (Geron, Sacramento Bee, 7/31). Karpiak and colleagues in a study that will be presented at the XVI International AIDS Conference in Toronto found that HIV-positive adults over age 50 in New York City are 13 times more likely to experience high levels of depression than the general population of the city and that many people surveyed had medical conditions associated with age -- including arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure and vision loss (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 8/1).
The XVI International AIDS Conference program is now available online.