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2 February 2017, 10:57

Study: HIV prevention and sexual education among older adults in Africa

Study: HIV prevention and sexual education among older adults in Africa - picture 1

The Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes has published the results of a study conducted by Molly Rosenberg, assistant professor of epidemiology and biostatics in the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington, regarding sexual activity and HIV prevention among older people in sub-Saharan Africa.

Its wrongly believed by many people that older adults are not sexually active, but the study found that even adults in their 80s and beyond often have sexual relationships and also are at high risk of acquiring HIV infection because this group is mainly ignored in sexual health education.

The study involved 5,059 men and women aged 40 and older from the rural part of South Africa, 46 percent were men, 51 percent were currently married, and 46 percent had no formal education.

The study revealed that condom use decreased with age in both men and women and was highest among people who are aware of their status. Among those who were HIV positive but unaware of their status only 27 percent have reported the use of condoms on a regular basis.

"To control the HIV epidemic in South Africa, we need to reach everyone who is vulnerable to HIV. And our paper shows that older adults should clearly be considered as HIV-vulnerable," Rosenberg said.

Author: Marina Shegay

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