New Pocket Guide on Aging Honours Women

 

Meet Lori, who says, “I didn’t expect to see 40.” She was diagnosed with HIV in her early thirties. She’s now 47 and happily thriving. And then there’s Heather, who came to terms with her HIV diagnosis later in life- “My kids knew more about HIV than I did!” Pocket Guide on Aging for Women Living with HIV

Lori and Heather are just two of the women who are part of our new resource, the Pocket Guide on Aging for Women Living with HIV.

It’s been a long time coming. When HIV was first in the news, its outcomes were bleak. Death after diagnosis could come within weeks, or for the lucky, a few years. Thankfully, that has changed for those who have access to health care, treatment and support. A diagnosis with HIV doesn’t spell the disaster it once did. HIV is still a very serious disease, and not to be taken lightly. But these days it can mean a life measured in decades, not months.

Given these changes, HIV isn’t a “young person’s disease.” People with HIV are aging. With aging come some health concerns everyone faces, but HIV also presents some of its own twists. To share this information with women, we developed the new Guide for

  • Women who have been living with HIV for ten years or more
  • Women with HIV going through perimenopause or who are post-menopausal
  • Women over 40 newly diagnosed with HIV

And not to leave out the communities that love and support women with HIV, we think that families, healthcare and social service providers might also find the information of interest!

As anyone who’s over the 40, 50, or 60 threshold knows, aging is complex. It’s about more than medical care. It also affects relationships, self-perception, and community connections. The Pocket Guide on Aging features these sections

  • HIV Basics
  • HIV Progression
  • The Shift to Menopause
  • Bone Health
  • Heart Health
  • Treatment for Life   
  • Changing Shape
  • Sexual Well-Being
  • Abuse in Relationships
  • Brain Health
  • Spiritual Health and Community Connections

As the writer, it was a real gift to work with a number of women who contributed to the Guide from start to finish and I’m very thankful for the lot of ‘em!  Women with HIV gave input on what topics needed to be included, generously offered their own experiences, and feedback on the drafts. Various women from community groups that care for and support positive women also gave their perspectives and feedback. I’m grateful to Dr Neora Pick of Oak Tree Clinic who did the medical review. 

The prospect of aging with HIV is one many of our members could never have imagined. Now they’re living it. Travel on, friends!  

If you or your organization would like copies of the Guide, drop us a line.

Janet

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