Seniors target of N.Y. safe sex campaign

July 3, 2007

Senior centers across New York recently began receiving free condoms as city officials have refocused their safe sex efforts to include local older citizens.

In an attempt to limit the spread of the human immunodeficiency virus in the city, local health officials have begun visiting senior centers to offer educational seminars and free prophylactics, the New York Post said Monday.

Department for the Aging commissioner Edwin Mendez-Santiago, whose group is helping to coordinate the senior-based effort, said the elderly represent an actual at-risk group.

"It's more than just a distribution of condoms. We were looking at the issue of HIV/AIDS in the above-50 population," he said.

"We also were concerned of the need to educate the community at large," Mendez-Santiago added. "We still face ageism and ... the assumption that older adults are not sexually active. So they can take precautions, particularly around safe sex."

The Post said 100 New York senior centers have already been given the health-based items and 225 others should soon be given similar educational materials.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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