Elder group looks at HIV, aging
by Angela Thomas
Dec 05, 2013 | 606 views | 0 0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print
As a part of its Conversations series, the LGBT Elder Initiative will host “HIV + Aging: What’s New II” from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Dec. 11 at William Way Community Center, 1315 Spruce St.

The event will feature updates on the latest information about HIV/AIDS treatment and resources and is geared toward older adults, long-term survivors of HIV/AIDS and health-care and social-service professionals.

The workshop will include a question-and-answer session and will bring together presenters such as Ian Frank of the Penn Center for AIDS Research, Baligh Yehia of the Penn Medicine Program for LGBT Health, John Del Rossi of Rossi Wellness, and John Lutz from the Mazzoni Center.

By 2015, more than half of people living with HIV/AIDS will be over age 50, a primary reason LGBTEI wanted to focus on this topic, said Ed Bomba, the organization’s communications chair.

The workshop will look at such topics as the long-term effects of living with HIV, side effects of HIV/AIDS medications, aging-related medications, care options, nutrition and emotional issues.

Bomba said the Conversations series, which included the first “HIV + Aging” last September, was modeled after a similar program Philadelphia FIGHT hosted in the 1980s and ’90s to help people living with HIV/AIDS.

“We thought that we needed to get that information to the LGBT older-adult community in a similar fashion so they could have resources and services that they needed to age successfully,” Bomba said.

The LGBTEI currently has six Conversations series scheduled for 2014 on various topics affecting the LGBT older-adult community, such as technology, older women’s sexual health and navigating a residential community or nursing home.

Bomba said the lack of LGBT-specific resources for the older-adult community makes the Conversations series essential.

“There are so few resources that are LGBT culturally competent, and we want to empower people with information so they know what services are available and how to access those services to get the resources they need,” Bomba said. “Whether in regards to health, legal issues or housing, we just want people to have a source of information and education, and we hope to be that for people.”

“HIV + Aging: What’s New II” is free and open to the public, with light dinner served. To register or for more information, contact the LGBTEI at info@lgbtei.org or call 267-546-3448.

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