Communicating about HIV and risk behaviors related to sex or substance use can be difficult. Even when they know how to keep themselves safe, people often have a hard time talking to their partners about things like safer sex. Older adults who grew up at a time when discussion of sexuality was considered improper or vulgar can find these conversations particularly awkward. While everyone fears rejection, the stakes can be even higher for older adults who regularly struggle with feelings of social isolation and loneliness. Older people living with HIV appear to be particularly vulnerable [...]
Posts Tagged ‘Substance Use’
Many diseases and infections affect a specific part of the body, but HIV lives in the immune system and therefore ultimately impacts the whole body. While health care providers are trained to be experts in highly focused areas within the mental and physical health fields, they need to be sensitive to how the lines between their specialties can blur and work closely with other providers to maximize benefits for patients. Coordinating care is critical, as many medications can become dangerous or ineffective when combined. Side effects for medicines addressing physical ailments can include mental health issues like depression, and medications addressing mental health conditions such as depression may include physical symptoms like nausea or fluctuations in weight. [...]
We may not talk about it or see it on movie screens, but sex and romance continue to play an important role in many people’s lives as they age. Some who have lost a long-term romantic partner are starting new intimate relationships for the first time since the HIV epidemic began. And some older adults have multiple partners or may be involved with someone who is not monogamous.