HIV/AIDS and Adults Fifty and Older: Barriers, Strengths, Prevention, and Recommendations for Change

Essay by nappiecatUniversity, Master'sA, January 2009

download word file, 16 pages 5.0

Downloaded 88 times

Many women brought up in the 1940s and '50s, like Doris, were taught that if they accomplish what society expects of them, that they would be all right. Doris' early years largely confirmed this philosophy. A bright and appealing young woman, Doris married an equally smart and handsome man. She was blessed with three lovely children. However, after more than 20 years of marriage, her husband left her. After her divorce, she began dating Robert, a dear friend she had known for years. Eventually, they became lovers. It did not occur to Doris that she would put herself at risk by engaging in unprotected sex with an attractive, intelligent, amusing man of many interests, a man who had been a close friend her entire adult life.

In her intimate relationships, Doris saw no need to use condoms because, as an older woman, she knew she couldn't become pregnant. She had few sexual partners, and knew them well, so she didn't fear sexually transmitted diseases.

But, as sex educators and medical professionals have repeatedly stated for years, you don't have to be intimate with a lot of people to become infected with HIV, or any other STD for that matter. When Doris came home from Miami in January, after a wonderful trip with friends, she knew she would have a stack of mail to sort through. Trading the Florida sunshine for a cold east coast winter had not put her in the best mood, so when she found a letter from the health insurance company, to which she had applied for new coverage, she anticipated a forthcoming welcome letter. However, she was denied, due to a "blood abnormality."The next day, she telephoned the insurance company, and the underwriter told her that they would have to send the results of the blood...