Women of a Certain Age . . .
Women over fifty are the fastest growing demographic of people being newly infected with HIV.
Older women are severely underserved in this arena and often experience late diagnosis and treatment, as well as early death. Because of this disparity there is an urgent need for resources and outreach focused specifically on women over fifty.
Other factors that contribute to an increased infection rate:
•Doctors are reluctant to discuss sexual issues with older women
•With decreased risk for pregnancy over 50, safe sex is not frequently encouraged and therefore condoms are not utilized adequately
•The advent of on-line dating and the use of erectile dysfunction drugs enable many people to engage sexually with multiple partners, potentially increasing the risk of contracting HIV
•Women over 50 returning to the dating scene after monogamous long-term relationships may be ill-equipped to deal with basic aspects of setting boundaries around sexual encounters due to low self-esteem or social conventions that no longer apply
15-17% of all new infections of HIV are of people over the age of fifty.
Beginning in Oregon, Women of a Certain Age… will establish local resources for women over fifty for information and support regarding HIV/AIDS prevention education. This information will be disseminated through volunteer point-persons in community settings including churches, garden groups, workplace sites and other venues.
Women will have access to testing information, condom instruction, and various resources around and within their communities. Furthermore, each area will have a delegated person from a community-based organization, county or state agency who will provide once a month supervision to address volunteer concerns and comments, and keep volunteers up to date with information in relation to HIV/AIDS prevention and awareness.