The Terrence Higgins Trust, which is the UK’s largest HIV and sexual health charity, has called for a shift in awareness and training of care workers to support older people with HIV. This comes after it was revealed a care home made a woman with HIV sit on the same chair and used antibacterial wipes on the TV remote every time she used it.
The charity recently published a report called ‘Uncharted Territory’ which discussed the need for HIV awareness training in the social care sector to eliminate discrimination and increase support for older people living with HIV. The report stated that much of this discrimination and prejudice came down to a lack of understanding and awareness of HIV in social care professionals.
Due to the success of antiretroviral therapy, we are seeing the first generation of people who are living longer and growing older with HIV and over 50s now stand for one third of those living with HIV in the UK.
The charity is calling on health and social care providers to make HIV and aging a mandatory part of all entry-level training and induction for all care workers, to tackle the issues people living with HIV face when accessing social care.
Ian Green, chief executive of the Terrence Higgins Trust said:-
“A major shift in awareness and training for social care staff and support services on HIV and ageing is needed, to ensure they have the skills and knowledge to support the increasing numbers of people growing older with HIV.”