Controversy over condoms at Queensbury Senior Center


The Board of Directors of the Queensbury Senior Center is expected to address the issue of free condoms available to its members.

The executive director discreetly put the condoms out, and has faced criticism.

they've been available - along with education materials since January.

The executive director who put them out says she never had one complaint.

However a board member says the only reason the issue came up - was when a paper came to do a story about this center.

"e care for our people and this is one way we thought was a way we could care for our people and to offer them options," said Monty Robinson, a member of the board of directors. He says the board will make a statement and decision about the condoms - that they want it under their guidance.

"All of our board gets along well, we have differences of opinion, but our main goal is to care for providing information and to look after the senior citizens In our community," he said.

Executive director Kathryn Cramer - who placed the condoms nearly a year ago- sent CBS6 a statement saying in part,

"I am heartbroken that providing educational brochures and condoms to the seniors in this community has created such a stir. "

She says The Warren County Public Health Department had a booth at their health fair addressing safe sex for seniors and she says it's just been adults Talking openly about a crisis that is affecting them.

Johanne Morne is the Director of the AIDS institute for the New York State Dept of Health. We caught up with her at the Ending the Epidemic Summit in Albany. She wasn't commenting on the Queensbury center itself- instead she addressed seniors across the state. "We have to become more comfortable in our discussions about sexual health," she said. "Seniors, especially individuals who may be sexually activ,e should be having conversations, education and awareness as it relates to HIV and other STDs. It's significant."

"It is important from a health care perspective to realize that over half the population of people living with hiv are now approaching senior citizen age," said Jim Tesoriero.

Tesoriero is the director of the Division of Epidemiology, Evaluation and Partner Services for the New York State Department of Health. He says while new diagnoses of HIV are going down in New York state, many older people have waited to get tested.

"About 20 percent depending on area of state, new infections are over the age of 50, so that is significant," he said.

He says the reason more than 50 percent of people living with HIV are over 50 is because we have medications allowing people who were diagnosed years ago to live longer and now they're aging.

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