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Published:November 1st, 2013 13:19 EST

UN: More HIV Services Needed For Older Patients

By SOP newswire3

The shifting demographics of the AIDS epidemic demands a new focus to reach people aged 50 and over who are currently underserved by HIV services, today urged the United Nations agency leading the global HIV/AIDS response.

Out of the estimated global total of 35.3 million people living with HIV, an average 3.6 million are people aged 50 years or older, according to a new supplement to the 2013 UNAIDS report on the global AIDS epidemic focused on the issue HIV and aging.

People 50 years and above are frequently being missed by HIV services, " said Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS Executive Director. This is costing lives. "

Much more attention needs to be given to their specific needs and to integrating HIV services into other health services which people 50 years and over may already have access to, " added Mr. Sidibé.

The supplement revealed that in high-income countries almost one-third of people living with HIV are 50 years or older.

The majority of the population where the percentage of adults living with HIV is 50 years or older, is in low-and middle-income countries, however. According to the latest figures, some 2.9 million people are in low-and middle-income countries, more than 10 per cent of people living with HIV.

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