Poverty and neglect causes HIV risk for elderly

TANZANIA: Poverty and neglect causes HIV risk for elderly

JOHANNESBURG, 8 Dec 2004 (PLUSNEWS) - Neglect, ignorance and poverty could put more than 2 million elderly Tanzanian women at risk of HIV infection, the global aid organisation, HelpAge International, has suggested in a new study.

The report, titled 'The Cost of Love: Older People in the Fight Against AIDS in Tanzania', highlights the plight of the elderly, often exposed to high risk of HIV infection while caring for their sick children and grandchildren at home.

According to the findings, there are incidents where local women aged 60 and over are lured into unsafe sex in exchange for food or a bucket of water.

An elderly woman from country's northeastern coastal town of Tanga was quoted in the report as saying: "Some elderly women go to the seashore to buy fish directly from fishermen, but on days when they have no money, one has to offer sex to the fishermen in order to get fish to feed the grandchildren."

Access the full report: http://www.helpage.org/images/pdfs/HIVAIDS/op_and_aids_in_tanzania.pdf


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