The New York Times has published a look at the growing population of older people living with HIV and the health challenges they face.
This group of almost 50,000 men and women moving through middle age is a living science experiment, entering medical and psychological territories that are largely uncharted. What are the consequences of long-term exposure to the virus, or to the medications? How do these interact with the effects of normal aging? And how, after you have braced for death, do you turn around and create a new life, often without the friends and loved ones who gave your life definition? Interviews with a dozen members of this population elicited a mixture of wonder and anxiety. Some said they were healthier and better adjusted than they had been for decades. But for others, survival has come with consequences, both medical and social. Many said they felt forgotten by a city whose attention has turned away from H.I.V. and AIDS, and by a gay community whose activism long ago shifted to same-sex marriage.
Among the six people profiled in a sidebar to the above-linked report are my pal, songwriter Steve Schalchlin, and Dr. Perry Halkitis, who moderated the Broadway Cares panel that I appeared on last month.