It’s Time to Have That Talk with Grandma

Holy Ricky Martin! HIV infection is on the rise in Puerto Rico – and get your mind out of the gay-hating gutter – the virus isn’t spreading among the usual suspects.

The Miami Herald reports that “for the year ending in September, 238 new HIV cases were reported among people here 60 or older — about a 25 percent increase from the same period in 2006. About 4 percent of all HIV cases here are of people 60 and older.” And you thought grandma was playing bingo in between your monthly calls. Ha!

So what’s behind this troubling trend? The usual culprits: misconceptions that HIV only affects gays and drug users, sexual abandon exacerbated by drugs like Viagra, and a spirit of invincibility. It seems that no matter where you are in the world and regardless of age and sexual orientation, the (lack of) thinking is the same when it comes to HIV: “It can’t happen to me.”

Thankfully, the government of Puerto Rico is tackling the issue head on with a program called “the Golden Force, [which offers] sex education for seniors who feel they are not at risk, don’t get tested or refuse to acknowledge they are HIV positive.” It’s nice to see the government of Puerto Rico stepping down from its moralistic soap box that puts the kabosh on issues like gay marriage to address issues that really impact people.

With this bit of information in hand it’s time to call up your Puerto Rican grandma and warn her about guys like Abraham Hernandez who, “as soon as his Social Security check arrives in the mail, goes on the prowl, looking for sex.” Thanks to magic blue pills, guys like him can “have sex well into their 90s.” (Which, in another context, is very encouraging)

So don’t let granny become another statistic or a notch on Abraham’s belt. Inform her. Talk to her. And make her watch this clip: