Oxford Circle man part of city’s growing HIV-positive elderly population

By 2015, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, half of HIV-positive Americans will be 50 or older.

As better drugs keep HIV patients alive longer, patients and healthcare providers must juggle treating the virus and the host of other chronic illnesses that come with aging.

Living long with HIV

As Michael Palumbaro whipped up a banana smoothie in his small Oxford Circle kitchen on a recent morning, the tall man easily filled the space.

In his quest to eat right, he spends a decent amount of time there,  moving in his characteristic slow but deliberate manner.

“If you had a Rolls Royce, you wouldn’t put Coca-Cola and Twinkies in the gas tank and expect it to run,” Palumbaro said. “So how much more important is it to put nutritious things in your body if you want your immune system to run properly?”

Palumbaro was diagnosed with HIV in 1987, when the virus was seen as a death sentence.

Read the rest of this story about treatment for the aging HIV population and see more photos from our partners at NewsWorks.

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