new Age: In order to help people with HIV cope with the intricacies of the complex bureaucracy for them, a group called “Age +” was established last year. The group’s initiator and director is Patrick Levy, who was the first CEO of the AIDS Committee in the 1990s and has lived with HIV since 1988.
It is estimated that today about 9,000 people with HIV live in the country, a third of them over the age of 50.
“When we go to pain clinics and doctors who specialize in cognitive health, they do not always understand how we ‘fell’ on them. There is an importance in connecting HIV and symptoms related to old age,” says Levy.
Although in the country the official age for receiving benefits and special prices as an elderly person is 67, in practice those living with HIV are actually required to exercise long-term care insurance and apply for services “for the elderly” at an earlier age, but access to them is blocked.
Although HIV is considered a chronic disease, most people who live with this virus are denied life insurance, and have to deal with many restrictions in various long-term care insurances, among other things. Overseas health insurance is also much more expensive than those paid by a healthy person.
“On the issue of welfare, many of my generation are required to enter nursing homes or nursing homes at an earlier age, but these institutions are not prepared to accept us, as we do not belong to their official target audience. People living with HIV, “Levy adds.
The Committee to Fight AIDS has given the green light to Levy to open a leadership group called “Idan +”, with the aim of identifying the steps that must be taken for the benefit of this growing population. Over the past year, every three weeks, 12 people aged 50 and over living with HIV from all over the country have met. In their meetings, they consult with experts from Israel and abroad in an attempt to find answers to various issues.
In recent months, the group has submitted recommendations to about 50 government, health and other bodies in order to bring about change. Levy: “In the past, those who became infected before the existing treatment today knew then that his days were numbered, and that the last stage of his life would not be pleasant to say the least.
The experience of young people living with HIV today is completely different. I hope that in the future they will also not have to deal with the physiological and bureaucratic difficulties that our generation faces. “
You can contact “Idan +” by email: [email protected]