More needs to be done – Older people with HIV

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has made a statement that “More needs to be done to help people living into older age with HIV”.

Around a fifth of all HIV positive people in the UK are 50 and over. Unfortunately the Royal College of Nursing said on the eve of its annual congress in Liverpool “there is a lack of training for healthcare workers and also a lack of knowledge among the public in general.”


Last Monday (16th June 2014) nursing staff debated issues of HIV Awareness at its annual congress.

48 year old Memory Sachikonye was diagnosed in 2002 commented “”Older people with HIV will have more than one illness and when you are seeing five different consultants it can be difficult keeping track of medications, appointments and tests, especially if you are ill.

“If there is one thing that would really help older people with HIV, it is having someone who can coordinate care between different parts of the health service to make sure there are no mistakes and to reduce the stress for patients.”

61 year old Blackpool resident, Ian Lamb in 1996 was diagnosed with HIV, he was 42 at his time of diagnosis “The attitudes towards HIV haven’t really changed in some parts of the country from when I was first diagnosed 20 years ago – it is just more subtle and less noticeable now. After 20 years I still have to be careful who I tell or what I say.”

The chief exec and general secretary of The Royal College of Nursing (RCN), Dr Peter Carter said “Nursing staff are seeing an increasing number of older people with HIV and too often they can see that the system is failing them. Many nurses also feel that they could be better used to help older people with HIV by coordinating care and reducing the stress of dealing with multiple conditions.

“The attention and focus may have moved on from HIV since the late 80s but the condition is still very real for those who have been diagnosed and we owe it to them as a society to provide the support, medically, emotionally and financially, that they need.”

Living Well is committed to improve the lives of those who are newly diagnosed and living with HIV. Living Well also provide leading young people sexual health education programs and sexual health helplines to improve young people’s access to sexual health education, sex and relationship advice. To find out how you can help Living Well or gain access to their HIV and young people services please call 020 31 373 373 or email

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