Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2018-10-17
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Art AIDS exhibition hosts panel on aging
by David Thill
2017-03-29

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Greg Sanchez has taken HIV medications since the 1980s. But each time his body becomes resistant to one, he must switch to another. Now, with no new medications available, his only option is to take part in a clinical trial—a prospect he finds scary and, even more so, isolating. "I just wish I had somebody to relate to," he said.

The lack of support services for older adults living with HIV/AIDS was a prominent topic during a March 22 panel discussion on HIV and aging, held at the Alphawood Gallery in conjunction with the Art AIDS America Chicago exhibition. The panel—which Jacqueline Boyd, founder of Chicago-based health-services agency The Care Plan, moderated—featured Sanchez and five other members of Chicago's HIV/AIDS, LGBT and healthcare communities. ( In addition, the Chicago Gay Men's Chorus performed. )

"There's a lot of non-visibility around the HIV/AIDS issue," said Sanchez. He said he knows of only two local support groups for long-term survivors, one of which he leads. "It feels like there's this … disconnect now." He senses that disconnect particularly from members of younger generations, many of whom he feels do not understand the experiences of those who lived through the height of the AIDS epidemic.

Panel members said this intergenerational divide needs to be addressed. "I … think there are a lot of spaces that provide opportunity for older generations and younger generations to … engage one another," said Brenikki R. Floyd, Ph.D., MPH, a research specialist at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She believes opportunities for this engagement exist in service settings that already serve both older and younger individuals.

Several panel members said many younger individuals lack seriousness in dealing with HIV/AIDS. "You have to take this [diagnosis] seriously," said Brenda Simmons, an outreach specialist at Chicago Women's AIDS Project. Whereas in the past an HIV diagnosis was a major concern for patients, Simmons said she sees many newly diagnosed patients who miss doctor appointments or fall behind on their medications.

She acknowledged that today's youth face other challenges, including finding housing and obtaining sufficient incomes—challenges that have become more pronounced as funding for those resources disappears. Still, she believes that "health care should be taken a little bit more seriously" by younger individuals.

Intergenerational conversations—and health education, generally—are important for maintaining HIV/AIDS awareness, especially as the virus becomes resistant to new medications, said panel members. Panelist Thomas Hunter, LCSW, a medical case-management supervisor and senior-care specialist at Chicago House, said he has overseen cases of young HIV-positive patients who fail to take their medications and then become resistant to them, sometimes leading to avoidable deaths.

By the same token, patients who adhere to their treatment regimens—including taking medications regularly—can reap the benefits. Hunter has been HIV-positive for over 15 years. He said his doctor told him, "'You're probably going to end up dying of something else, not HIV.'" Indeed, several panel members observed that for many older HIV-positive adults, HIV is less of a concern than other chronic diseases, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, that often accompany aging.

Still, they said, the possibility of living longer is accompanied by stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS, and older patients need adequate social support services to live happily. One way to obtain these services, the panelists agreed, is to advocate for them, including voting and calling on legislators.

"The long and short of it is … we're going to have to do things for ourselves," said HIV activist Roy Ferguson. "We have to hear our voices."


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Legislation Would Expand Care for LGBT Elders, People With HIV 2018-10-18 - [New York, NY] — Yesterday, D.C. Councilmember Mary Cheh introduced first-of-its-kind legislation to better protect and support LGBT elders and older people living ...


Gay News

HIV Care Connect releases health quiz 2018-10-17 - In an effort to assist Illinois residents living with HIV who are affected by social determinants of health, Illinois HIV Care Connect has ...


Gay News

New York City Mayor Signs Pivotal Gender Marker Bill 2018-10-10 - [New York, NY] In a significant step forward for transgender, gender nonconforming, and nonbinary New Yorkers, today at the Edie Windsor SAGE Center ...


Gay News

SAGE to Celebrate '40 Fierce Years' at Annual Awards Gala 2018-10-10 - SAGE, the nation's largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of LGBT elders, is proudly commemorating its 40th anniversary at this ...


Gay News

CFW releases report on local women, girls 2018-10-10 - The Chicago Foundation for Women ( CFW ) has released the second edition of its annual Report on the Status of Chicago's Women ...


Gay News

Advocates to launch LGBT community needs assessment 2018-10-10 - The LGBT Community Fund of the Chicago Community Trust will this month launch a new needs-assessment measuring the needs and concerns of the ...


Gay News

Alzheimer's: A Love Story 2018-10-03 - Gregory, my husband of over 41 years, was diagnosed with dementia, most likely Alzheimer's, in the 29th year of our relationship. He was ...


Gay News

TPA pioneers remember early days 2018-10-03 - Since last September, in preparation of Test Positive Aware Network's ( TPA's ) 30th-anniversary celebration, I've heard and read several accounts about the ...


Gay News

PHOTOGRAPHY Collaborative work spotlights older trans, GNC individuals 2018-09-28 - In 2012, photographer Jess Dugan and social worker/assistant professor Vanessa Fabbre began interviewing and photographing transgender and gender nonconforming adults older than 50, ...


Gay News

AIDS Garden Chicago announces Keith Haring Foundation partnership 2018-09-27 - Earlier this year, historians and LGBTQ, HIV/AIDS and park advocates came together to create AIDS Garden Chicago to memorialize Chicago's fight against HIV/AIDS. ...


 



Copyright © 2018 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.