In September 2006, CDC published Revised Recommendations for HIV Testing of Adults, Adolescents, and Pregnant Women in Health-Care Settings, which advises routine HIV screening of adults, adolescents, and pregnant women in health care settings in the United States and recommends reducing barriers to HIV testing. The recommendations specify routine testing for persons up to age 64. (Persons aged 64 and over should be counseled to receive HIV testing if they have risk factors for HIV infection.) Routine testing is intended not only to identify persons who are unaware that they are HIV infected but also to remove the stigma of being tested. Making testing routine for older persons can help open a discussion about risk behavior between a physician and an older person.
Prevention strategies should be developed for older persons who are potentially at risk for HIV infection: education to increase awareness and knowledge, skills training to help negotiate risk-reduction behavior, and messages that are age-appropriate and culturally sensitive. Intervention strategies to help older women negotiate safer sexual behavior are especially important .
A recent review of HIV/AIDS behavioral interventions for persons 50 and older recommended simultaneous multilevel approaches, including building on our current understanding of behavior change and HIV prevention successes with younger populations while considering important intervention principles gathered from work with older populations in other health areas .