Alert
Close

Think you know AARP? What you don't know about us may surprise you. Discover all the 'Real Possibilities'

HIGHLIGHTS

Open
America's Winter Escapes Sweepstakes
Introducing RealPad by AARP
You and Your Town Contest-You could win an AARP RealPad

AUTO BUYING PROGRAM

AARP Auto Buying Program

Download the ipad App

AARP-iPad-ePub-app

DRIVER SAFETY

Piggy bank on the road - AARP Driver Safety

Take the new AARP Smart Driver Course!

Contests and
Sweeps

Safe Driving in 2014 Sweepstakes

Learn how AARP Driver Safety can help you stay safe—and enter for a chance to win $1,000. See official rules. 

KEEP BRAIN ACTIVE!

AARP Games - Play Now!

AARP BOOKS

Planning for Long-Term Care for Dummies

Get expert advice on planning for your own or a relative’s future care needs.

Webinars

Learn From the Experts

Sign up now for an upcoming webinar or find materials from a past session.

Learning centers

Get smart strategies for managing health conditions.

 

Arthritis

Heart Disease

Diabetes

Most Popular

Viewed

share your thoughts

What does the health care law mean to you? Your story is important. We read and learn from every story and it helps us in our educational efforts. We may even use your comments (with permission) to brief legislators, inspire readers and more. Please share your story with us. Do

AIDS: 30 Years Later

Meet 6 unforgettable people over 50 living with HIV

Lee Fisher

Lee Fischer, 74. — Gavin Thomas

Lee Fischer

The feeling was unshakable. For two weeks Lee Fischer, then 60, suffered chills and weakness, and watched his rangy frame whittle itself down from 185 pounds to 165. He visited his doctor in Wilmington, Delaware, where he worked as a chemist, and confirmed his suspicion: He was HIV-positive.

Fischer knew all about AIDS — he had delivered meals to people with HIV in the 1990s. Back then he was in a committed gay relationship, and he and his partner got tested regularly, though they used protection. But shortly before his diagnosis in 1997, the now-single Fischer had indulged in a fling while on vacation in Seattle. That one time was enough.

Epidemiologists have long known that sharing needles can transmit HIV. But they have also found that people who use any sort of drug — even, like Fischer, a few too many drinks on vacation — are more likely to take risks that could lead to infection. And infected people don't always protect others. In a study of older HIV-positive people in New York City, one in three sexually active subjects had recently had risky sex.

Gay men remain the highest risk group for HIV overall, says Ronald Johnson of AIDS Action, an advocacy group in Washington, D.C. Men over 50 who were cautious when younger have reported "condom fatigue" — they tire of the decrease in sensation that condoms cause, Johnson adds.

Now 74 and living in Baltimore, Fischer is in good health, thanks to HAART and a regimen that includes yoga, meditation, gym visits, and dog walks. He drinks no alcohol. Micromanaging health can keep people with HIV alive longer. "Taking care of yourself is a 24-hour job," Fischer says.

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Grandson (8-9) whispering to grandfather, close-up

Members can save 20% on hearing aids with the AARP® Hearing Care Program provided by HearUSA.

AARP/Walgreens Wellness Bus Stops in Clarksdale, MS

Members can get exclusive points offers from Walgreens and Duane Reade.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.

Rewards for Good

Your Points Balance:

Learn More

Earn points for completing free online activities designed to enrich your life.

Find more ways to earn points

Redeem your points to save on merchandise, travel, and more.

Find more ways to redeem points