Reporting Vanessa Borge
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MIAMI (CBS4) – As teenagers we all dreaded ‘the talk’ where mom, dad or whoever explained sex and what having ‘safe sex’ meant in terms which wouldn’t cause embarrassment.
Now, the tables have turned, and it’s time for ‘the talk’ again only this time it’s being directed at those who should know better.
“For many years we have been advocating for elderly, now senior citizens, our adults to advocate to our kids. Now we need to do a reverse in roles,” Kira Villamizar from Miami Dade Health Department said.
The Florida Department of Health is now encouraging young people to talk about sex with the older relatives in their lives.
“In Miami-Dade County people over 50 represent 32% of the AIDS cases and 23% of the HIV cases reported,” Villamizar said.
In 2009, nearly a fifth of all new HIV cases in the state were in people over 50 — more than half of whom lived in South Florida and the outlook for adults is bleak; by 2015, projections put the majority of all people with HIV and AIDS over 50.
Part of the reason is that adults are not only living longer but also staying sexually active longer.
“HIV/AIDS is no longer a death sentence. Its chronic disease, its manageable, people are living longer,” Villamizar said.
Health officials say while having a talk with your parents, aunts or uncles may be awkward, it can also have a huge impact when it comes to preventing the spread of HIV among older Floridians.
“Our young generation has grown up with HIV and AIDS messages. They’re very knowledgably about HIV and AIDS, the risk factors, about prevention,” said Villamizar.
“Usually it’s your parents talking to you about sex and now we have to teach our parents about sex,” 18-year-old Marie Lou Chang said.
It’s never too late, according to health officials to implant those same safe sex messages in adults which could prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS in the future.