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As the International AIDS Conference winds down, the culmination of the event anticipates that one message is clear: Ageing with HIV is an urgent matter that requires a lot of attention.

As one man put it, “I fear that if I need to be cared for, the carer would be as ill-informed and prejudiced about HIV as the general public.”

A number of integral sessions were conducted with regards to HIV and ageing. Andrea Beal of Grandmothers Advocacy Network (GRAN) in Canada presented “One Day an Army of Grey-Haired Women may Quietly Take over the Earth”.

Global experts from around the world served on a panel on “HIV and Aging: The Challenge of the Epidemic’s Fourth Decade” covering topics such as ageism, stigma, prevention and the critical role of caregivers.

Judith Currier presented on the “Intersection of non-communicable diseases and Ageing in HIV” discussing a global action plan.

Here is what we learned from the AIDS2012 conference:

  •  It is expected that 50% of all persons with HIV in developed nations will be age 50 or older as early as 2015
  • Increased life expectancy for treated HIV now approaches survival rates similar to the general population.
  •  Older people with HIV have twice as many age-related health conditions as their HIV negative peers
  •  Discrimination, ignorance and poor clinical treatment continues to ensue about AIDS illness
  • Many health systems are not ready to cope with the influx of ageing HIV-positive people requiring medication and care
  • Older adults accounted for 15% of new cases of HIV in the US
  •  HIV positive people are at a greater risk for illnesses common in old age
AIDS awareness in Chimoio

AIDS awareness ad in Chimoio, Mozambique [Credit: Ton Rulkens, Flickr]

handicap

Credit: twinpix

In this economy, it’s important to invest wisely and to live prudently without sacrificing the health of your loved ones.  Making smart choices about purchases can affect the quality of care you provide or receive.

Around the world there are ways to save on all the disability aids and technology you need without burning a hole in your pocket or leaving your home.  We did a bit of research and came up with these:

In Australia:

 E-bility features a classifieds section for second-hand beds, chairs and more only for sale within Australia.  

In the UK:

Preloved , similar to Craigslist, offers a variety of miscellaneous items but has a large selection of mobility walkers, bed liners, and scooters both new and used for a fraction of the retail cost.  You can buy and sell equipment online.

DisabledGear – In addition to practical gear, DisabledGear has some thrilling disability gear for the adventurer like a Quad Tetrapalegic Off-road Vehicle and E-Cycle Trainer.

Demand – So much more than a re-seller, Demand also fixes broken equipment as needed.

In the US

The Mobility Market specializes in mobility aids, though there is a small fee for posting items worth $50 or more.  There is also a UK equivalent.    

Globally:

Apparalyzed covers over 20 countries in Asia, Latin America, Europe and the Middle East and ranges from modified furniture, to aids and equipment.  You can also request items by posting a “wanted” ad for your desired piece.  

Ebay – A classic favorite, Ebay really does have it all. Try searching for individual items to buy or swap out your items.  Depending on the seller, most items can be shipped around the world.

Please share your secrets and experiences with us to better the global community and accessibility for all!

About this blog

IAHSA’s Global Ageing Network Blog was created because of you!! We got your message loud and clear – “Provide us with a quick and nimble communications vehicle so we can stay connected and create community across borders".

Questions? Email us at iahsa@leadingage.org.

Authors

Virginia Nuessle, Study Tour Director

Majd Alwan, Director, CAST

Alla Rubinstein, Program Administrator, IAHSA

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