Isolation and HIV memories hit LGBT+ elderly hard in lockdowns

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03/29/2020

As lockdowns are imposed around the world to stop the spread of coronavirus, LGBT+ groups are scrambling to support older members of their community who are more likely to live alone and suffer from poor health than their heterosexual peers. With community centers and other face-to-face services forced to shut from Mexico City to New York and London, volunteers are rallying around to deliver food and to phone vulnerable elders – and even raise funeral funds. Even before the outbreak, loneliness was more prevalent among older LGBT+ people, according to a 2016 study by The Williams Institute, a U.S. research center on sexual orientation and gender identity law and policy at UCLA School of Law. A survey it cited found almost 60% of LGBT+ elders felt they lacked companionship, with some living with HIV and having lost partners and friends to AIDS during the 1980s and 1990s.

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