HIV on the rise among elderly

There is a resurgence of sexual activity among elderly persons, thanks to the availability of potency drugs, but many are doing their thing without protection and it is behind a rise in HIV/AIDS among older Barbadians.

This was revealed by the President of the Barbados Association of Retired Persons (BARP), Ed Bushell, who said that while the incidence of HIV/AIDS was declining overall in Barbados, figures for senior citizens were moving in the opposite direction.

President of the Barbados Association of Retired Persons Ed Bushell.
President of the Barbados Association of Retired Persons Ed Bushell.

“HIV/AIDS is on the rise among the elderly,” Bushell said at a Wednesday night panel discussion, hosted by the Barbados Museum and Historical Society, titled, ‘Health for all?’

The head of the organization, which boasts some 44,000 persons over the age of 50, with a few past 100, told the Queen’s Park Steel Shed audience, “Don’t talk about HIV/AIDS and it is being reduced. It is being reduced in most of the population, except the elderly.

“The reason that is being given is that with the advent of sexual enhancing drugs . . . those who were not tempted before are now tempted. And more than tempted, they are getting themselves into action without the necessary cautions that they should take.”

Other members of the panel were Chief Medical Officer Dr Joy St John and Professor Emeritus of the University of the West Indies, Sir Errol “Mickey” Walrond.

Moving to other health challenges of the elderly, Bushell noted that once past 60 years, a person was classified as elderly.

“We have the highest percentage of elderly persons in this region.”

He quoted United Nation statistics that project a growth in Barbados’ elderly population.

“Now, one in nine persons in Barbados is over 60, but in 2050 it will be one in five, so you can see the elderly population expanding very rapidly.”

“This raises special problems,” he said, explaining that the issue is with increasing health costs.  “There is some disadvantage that we recognise. … especially in our age group, whereas when you are ageing, you tend to be more vulnerable, and we want to use the medical services more.”

He said the situation was compounded by this demographic being mostly people on pensions, “and most pensions are fixed and hardly move with the cost of living, and the cost of health care is escalating, the elderly are not able to match, and therefore they fall further and further behind.

“So what we are likely to have . . .  because they are trying to provide health care for themselves, they’ve gone into poverty because they spend all their money on health care.”

11 Responses to HIV on the rise among elderly

  1. Cynthia Blackman
    Cynthia Blackman May 8, 2015 at 11:04 am

    This is SAD

  2. Veroniva Boyce
    Veroniva Boyce May 8, 2015 at 11:25 am

    Sad? They got two heads one with brains and one without. Men always use the one without and then think of the consequences after a few minutes or seconds of pleasure. It’s only when HIV or STD say howdy them looking for cover, too late, wanna should of walk with bodyguard Johnny.

    • Veroniva Boyce
      Veroniva Boyce May 8, 2015 at 11:45 am

      Akil, you got a point there. Females can also be the carrier, but men don’t think about that. So it becomes a vicious cycle.

  3. Jane Brathwaite
    Jane Brathwaite May 8, 2015 at 11:38 am

    See the Q in the cummunity all of those old people turn young just so smh them going to Q and dressing like 16 year olds both male and females its crazy 70 year olds in leggings n thing showing what they have ,I never went to Q but I is see them going to get the buses. #hotoldfolks#

  4. Antony Rack
    Antony Rack May 8, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    You elderly men and women you should know better, stop lusting ,
    I have work with HIV, and full blowing aids, at the latter stage it’s not pleasant. Your may think you can do it, you can’t, you hasn’t the energy, it’s all in the mind, love your wife, love your husband, love your children, love your grandchild, love your home, love your garden, love helping out in your happy, be content.

  5. Jane Brathwaite
    Jane Brathwaite May 8, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    Ok petee cumberbatch just because you love Q and goes there and I don’t go don’t make me a clown , any way I forgive you cause you are proberly angry to the bone about something that you proberly regret while going to Q that’s none of your business any way put up your pic let john public see who the real clown is …..

  6. Jane Brathwaite
    Jane Brathwaite May 8, 2015 at 1:27 pm

    Lord have mercy looka life in bim

  7. Alex Alleyne May 8, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    Ole’ men just love young girls ……..LOL….. Mr.Bushell.

  8. Joan Watson May 8, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    I moved back to barbados after living in USA and nice to see the elderly care about now they look and they do look very good in barbados…but they r acting worse than the young people..its like they switch places. Anyway, So yes, do believe the rise on HIV is because of that I see going on among the elderly….there nothing wrong with looking good at any age but you have to protect yourselves at any age.

  9. Alex Alleyne May 8, 2015 at 8:03 pm

    Its just a bunch of “busy-bodies” having fun .
    Then deal with what ever after .
    As the headline say’s , RISE AMONG THE “ELDERLY”.

  10. dwayne jordan May 9, 2015 at 8:54 am

    I woulda prefer to hear stats aswell. Some older folks maybe thinking them get so far without it and this young looking 65 year old lass/stud cant possibly hv it,,they betta think again ole man/woman.

    Aids knoweth no age.


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