Older HIV-Positive Population Faces Obstacles
Sacramento County will create plans to help older people with HIV find affordable housing and proper health care, Adrienne Rogers, Ryan White CARE Act program coordinator for the county said recently, the Sacramento Bee reports. The CARE Act is the largest federal care program for people with HIV.
According to Rogers, more than 70% of HIV-positive people in Sacramento, Placer and El Dorado counties who receive federally funded HIV services are older than 40 and more than 27% are older than 50.
Peter Feeley, executive director of the AIDS Housing Alliance in Sacramento, said that in the Sacramento area there is one hospice for terminally ill AIDS patients and 31 housing units for low-income people with HIV. The AIDS Housing Alliance plans to open next year a 60-unit building because there are no vacancies in the existing 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 provide palliative care to terminally ill patients. "We have lived longer in a system that wasn't designed to take care of elderly people," Myerscough said (Geron, Sacramento Bee, 7/31).