National Resource Center on LGBT Aging
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 18, 2011

Media Contact
Judy Evans, 212-741-2247 ext. 237
jevans@sageusa.org

National Resource Center on LGBT Aging Introduces Resources on Older Adults Living with HIV

New resources, launched on National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day, highlight the needs of LGBT adults age 50 and over with HIV/AIDS

[NEW YORK, NY] Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) announced today that it has introduced a variety of HIV and aging resources on its National Resource Center on LGBT Aging website. The site, launched in October 2010, has been evolving over time as the most comprehensive centralized clearinghouse of online resources for and about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) older adults nationwide. SAGE is launching this new information to mark National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day, a campaign to draw attention to the specialized needs of adults age 50 and over who are living with HIV and AIDS.
 
“As a national organization with a long history of supporting LGBT older people living with HIV/AIDS, SAGE is committed to addressing the severe challenges that face our elders,” said Michael Adams, Executive Director of SAGE. “We have seen firsthand the harmful effects of social isolation, delayed care seeking, and lack of prevention messages aimed at LGBT older people. The National Resource Center on LGBT Aging now offers tools to help LGBT older people cope with the disease and ensure that their health care providers know how to meet their unique needs.”
 
Today, approximately 28% of people living with HIV in the U.S. are over 50. By 2017 that number is projected to grow to 50%. It is also estimated that 15% of all new HIV infections occur in people over 50. In addition, available data clearly documents that the AIDS epidemic has disproportionately affected LGBT people of all ages, including elders.
 
LGBT older adults living with HIV also face other risk factors that can lead to poorer health outcomes. For example, 80% of LGBT older people with HIV live alone, compared to 67% of older heterosexuals living with HIV. The effects of such social isolation include depression, poor nutrition and premature mortality. Fear of discrimination often prevents LGBT elders from seeking the health care they need until it is too late. In addition, HIV prevention and intervention messages ignore LGBT older people or assume that older people are not sexually active.
 
“Because the population in this country is aging rapidly, and improved treatments for HIV/AIDs have allowed people to live longer, we are seeing a growing number of older people who are HIV positive, including LGBT elders,” said Hilary Meyer, Director of the National Resource Center for LGBT Aging. “Despite this, there is very little information and research out there on the impact of aging with HIV, and little support for LGBT older adults themselves.”
 
The National Resource Center on LGBT Aging provides critical information on living with HIV/AIDS to LGBT older adults, and seeks to inform aging services providers and LGBT organizations of LGBT elders’ needs. New resources include:
The HIV and aging section is the latest in a series of interactive, multimedia resources that the National Resource Center on LGBT Aging will unveil over the next several months. These online resources will span the many issues affecting LGBT older adults—from housing and ageism, to retirement and healthcare access, and much, much more.
 
Established in 2010, the National Resource Center on LGBT Aging is the country’s first and only technical assistance resource center aimed at improving the quality of services and supports offered to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) older adults. The Resource Center is a project of Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) in partnership with 10 LGBT and aging organizations nationwide, including the American Society on Aging; CenterLink (the national association of LGBT community centers); FORGE Transgender Aging Network; GRIOT Circle; Hunter College; The LGBT Aging Project; the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a); the National Institute of Senior Centers (National Council on Aging); Openhouse and PHI (a national training expert).
 
National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day is a national campaign, launched by The AIDS Institute and recognized by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of HIV/AIDS Policy, and www.aids.gov. The national campaign highlights the complex issues related to HIV prevention, care and treatment for aging populations in the United States.
 
To learn more about the National Resource Center on LGBT Aging, please visit lgbtagingcenter.org.
 
Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) is the country's largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of LGBT older adults. SAGE has pioneered programs and services for the aging LGBT community, provided technical assistance and training to expand opportunities for LGBT older people across the country, and provided a national voice on LGBT aging issues. In 2005, SAGE became the first official LGBT delegate at the White House Conference on Aging. In 2010, SAGE was awarded a three-year $900,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Administration on Aging to seed the creation of the nation's only National Resource Center on LGBT Aging. Learn more at sageusa.org and lgbtagingcenter.org.
 
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Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) is the country's largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of LGBT older adults. SAGE has pioneered programs and services for the aging LGBT community, provided technical assistance and training to expand opportunities for LGBT older people across the country, and provided a national voice on LGBT aging issues. In 2005, SAGE became the first official LGBT delegate at the White House Conference on Aging. In 2010, SAGE was awarded a three-year $900,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Administration on Aging to seed the creation of the nation's only National Resource Center on LGBT Aging. Learn more at sageusa.org and lgbtagingcenter.org.

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“We have seen firsthand the harmful effects of social isolation, delayed care seeking, and lack of prevention messages aimed at LGBT older people. The National Resource Center on LGBT Aging now offers tools to help LGBT older people cope with the disease and ensure that their health care providers know how to meet their unique needs.” - Michael Adams, Executive Director, SAGE