Friday, April 19, 2024

Call for more sex data on over-50s

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More research must to be conducted to find out how many middle-aged and elderly people are still sexually active.

Minister of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs Cynthia Forde said this was necessary as the elderly too, could be exposed to HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

“More effort must be made to collect data on older populations to understand the impact of HIV on those infected and affected. . .,” she said.

“As this is one of the Millennium Development Goals, services will need to be expanded to address the specific needs of persons age 50 and older living with the disease.

“And furthermore, preventative measures will have to be put in place to address the needs of persons over the age of 50 who are not living with HIV but are still sexually active.”

Forde made the comments recently at the Accra Beach Hotel during the National Assistance Board’s HIV seminar for older men held under the theme Live Positively . . . Know Your Status.

Another issue which the minister said must be addressed was sex education.

“I would therefore like to reinforce the need for you the participants to be rid of the taboo that lingers with respect to sex and sex education.

“These myths could be dispelled through the sharing of information with your peers as well as intergenerational sharing, given the access to technology,” Forde said.

Liaison officer with the National HIV/AIDS Commission, Fabian Todd, said the forum was important since it targeted an often obscure population.

“Over the years, we have seen extremely low numbers of men volunteering for testing for the disease,” Todd said.

He added that this reinforced international research which has shown that older people were less likely to get tested, and based on figures from the United States, people over 50 accounted for 17 per cent (6 812) of 39 782 new HIV diagnoses in 2016. ( TG)

Some of those who attended the HIV Seminar For Older Men at the Accra Beach

Hotel. (Picture by Reco Moore.)

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