Older persons in society may not be as informed about HIV/AIDS as their younger counterparts. And according to the Director of the National Assistance Board (NAB), Charyn Wilson, this might be due to the lack of discussion about HIV/AIDS prevention between health care workers, educators and members of the older population.
Ms. Wilson made this observation recently while addressing a seminar entitled "Let’s Not Discriminate", which was hosted by the Ministry of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Community Development, in association with the NAB’s Bereavement Support Services.
The Director attributed this dearth of information to the fact that older persons were less likely to discuss their intimate relationships with their doctors.
She alluded to the Pan American Health Organization’s 2000 report which showed that some 2,525 Barbadians had tested positive for HIV, and pointed out that there has been "a growing trend of older persons developing and living" with the virus.
The NAB Director underscored that change was necessary to stop the HIV/AIDS stigma and discrimination within society, and pledged NAB’s commitment to assist those persons living with the virus, especially the older ones.
"Since the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in all age groups is of utmost concern to all of us, we can only reduce the numbers of infected persons through education, raising public awareness, patience, responsible and acceptable behavioral patterns, support and understanding," Ms. Wilson stressed.