Even after reaching menopause, women have to remain vigilant about avoiding HIV infection through sexual intercourse. As I noted in a 2011 sharepost, women who are perimenopausal or menopausal face an increased risk of getting HIV since the vagina is not as lubricated, thus leaving you at risk for tiny tears that make it easier to contract HIV.
And new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicated that this threat is not going away. The CDC report indicates that the estimate percentage of people who are living with diagnosed HIV infection who were at least 50 years of age increased 14.3 percent over a two-year period. The data, which is from the 2010 HIV Surveillance Report and is taken from the 46 states that have long-established confidential name-based HIV infection reporting, stated that the percentages increased from 28.6 percent in 2007 to 32.7 percent in 2009. However, this number does not represent all cases of HIV in this age group, since not all infected people have been tested and included in the data base.
Furthermore, data from 2005-288 that was taken from 37 states that have this type of reporting indicated greater racial and ethnic disparities in HIV diagnosis among people who were at least 50 years of age than among younger people. The estimated rate of HIV diagnosis per 100,000 people among older blacks/African Americans was 49.2, which was 12.6 times the rate among older whites (which was a rate of 3.9). The estimated rate for Hispanics was 19.5, which was 5 times the rate for older whites.
The CDC also pointed out that older people were also more likely than younger people to be diagnosed with an HIV infection later in the course of the disease.
Other information related to diagnosis of HIV infection that you need to be aware of from this report:
- From 2007-2010, he rate of HIV diagnosis among adults between the ages of 80-84 increased while the rates decreased among adults between the ages of 65-69, 70-74 and 75-79. Furthermore, the rates remained stable among adults who were between the ages of 50-54, 55-59, 60-64 and 85 years and above.
- In 2010 alone, 47 percent – which represented the largest percentage of all diagnoses among older adults – and the highest rate per 100,000 population (17.8) were those for adults between the ages of 50-54. The estimated rate of diagnosed HIV infections among adults between the ages of 50-64 years was 5.6 times the rate among adults who were age 65 and older.
- From 2007-2010, the rate of diagnosis of HIV among men ages 65 and older decreased, but remained stable among men between the ages of 50-64 and among older women. In 2010, males accounted for 73 percent of all diagnosed HIV infections among older adults.
- The estimated number of diagnosed HIV infections among older women that were attributed to injection drug use decreased. However, the number of infections attributed to heterosexual contact increased. In 2010, 82 percent of diagnosed infections in older women were attributed to heterosexual contact whereas 18 percent were linked to injection drug use.
Therefore, women who are going through the menopausal transition as well as those who have gone through menopause need to be vigilant about practicing safe sex in order to reduce their chance of contracting HIV. That includes making sure that their partner is tested for HIV before engaging in sex as well as getting tested themselves. You also want to be checked for a sexually transmitted disease because having one increases your risk of becoming infected with HIV. Use protection for any form of sex, especially if you have multiple sexual partners. A monogamous relationship will help women remain safe.
Primary Source for This Sharepost:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2013). Diagnoses of HIV infection among adults aged 50 years and older in the United States and dependent areas, 2007-2010.
Published On: February 28, 2013