Webinar: Not Your Typical HIV and Aging 101

Published 16, Mar, 2015
Author // John McCullagh - Publisher emeritus

We post an ACT webinar exploring the experiences of older adults living with or vulnerable to HIV that includes two case studies and a discussion of programs and policies affecting this population in Canada.

Webinar: Not Your Typical HIV and Aging 101

Concerns about the well-being of older adults living with HIV is an emerging issue in Canada and around the world.

Before the introduction in 1996 of effective anti-retroviral therapies, most people living with HIV did not expect to live long lives. This meant that, for the most part, community-based organizations did not have to concern themselves with the needs of older people living with HIV. Now, however, provided they are diagnosed and treated in time, people living with HIV can long, healthy lives with near-normal life expectancies. This means that service providers in the HIV and aging sectors now have to consider the impact of an aging HIV population. 

At a recent community health forum hosted by the AIDS Committee of Toronto (ACT), which you can view in the webinar below, the experiences of older adults with lived experience of, or vulnerable to, HIV were illustrated by two case examples. These case studies are an attempt to illustrate the realities and challenges facing such adults who require the services of health professionals and community-based organizations. As such, they are designed to showcase not idealinteractions but rather interactions that are more likely to be experienced in the real world. 

These realistic case studies are prefaced by a discussion of the trends with respect to HIV and aging in Canada and about the four groups of older adults affected by or vulnerable to HIV. They are followed by a summary about the programs and services available in Toronto and across Canada that can address some of the issues that come up in the case studies. 

Thanks to the three organizations that cooperated on this webinar and gave us permission to repost it on PositiveLite.com: ACT, the Ontario HIV Treatment Network and the Canadian Working Group on HIV and Rehabilitation.  

About the Author

John McCullagh - Publisher emeritus

John McCullagh - Publisher emeritus

John McCullagh is the publisher of PositiveLite.com. He's an HIV-positive gay man who’s been active in Toronto's LGBTQ community since immigrating to Canada from his native Britain in 1975. A social worker by profession, he's worked in government and the not-for-profit sector in both front-line and management positions. His experience includes research, policy analysis, strategic planning, program development, project management, and communications.  

In the early years of the AIDS epidemic, John was a counsellor at the Toronto Counselling Centre for Lesbians and Gays (now known as David Kelley Services), an organization he co-founded and which was one of the first agencies in Toronto to offer professional counselling to those infected with and affected by HIV. 

Now retired, John volunteers with the AIDS Committee of Toronto (ACT) and is a board member of CATIE, Canada’s national HIV and Hepatitis C knowledge broker.  

John regularly contributes articles to PositiveLite.com about his personal experiences of living with HIV and about issues relevant to Canada's HIV and LGBTQ communities.