Sexual health concern
SEVERAL DOZEN SENIORS were today encouraged to take their sexual health seriously.
They were attending the HIV and the Elderly Seminar organised by the National Assistance Board (NAB) on the topic Safe Today…Healthy Tomorrow at the Accra Beach Hotel.
Minister of Social Care Steve Blackett said HIV among the elderly has been a neglected area of study. However, he said the dearth of information should in no way reinforce the assumption that older people are not sexually active or that older people do not become infected.
Meanwhile, chairman of the NAB Cephus Sealey said as the elderly population continues to increase, it has become necessary to look at HIV within that group.
“With improved health and social provisions longevity has indeed brought about a reality that some may choose not to want to confront, that being the sexuality of the elderly. It is no longer a hidden elderly desire or closet experience.
“It stares us right in the face as a segment of this group seeks to experiment with sexual enhancers and become sexually promiscuous. As they seek sexual gratification outside the home they inadvertently place themselves at risk of contracting an STI and passing it on to their unsuspecting partners,” he said.
Sealey said Barbadian society must therefore embark on sensitising all persons and encouraging treatment versus living with the secret.
“A major stride will be to eradicate our current reaction, stigma and discrimination against the elderly, in particular, with HIV”.
Topics discussed include HIV 101 and Let’s Not Discriminate. (LK)