“Losing all those people was never far from his mind,” mentioned his brother, who’s his solely fast survivor. “And it tied deeply into his personal life. He lost his lover, who was his soul mate.”

His accomplice’s dying stirred one thing in him.

“When he finally saw those who survived, he saw they weren’t surviving well,” he added. “So Stephen thought, ‘How can I do something about this?’ He couldn’t do anything when it was happening in the 1980s, but then he got his chance.”

Dr. Karpiak left Columbia University within the mid-Nineteen Nineties and moved to Phoenix to run a clinic for individuals residing with H.I.V. He additionally managed an company there that supplied housing for homeless males residing with the virus.

Dr. Karpiak returned to New York in 1999 to guide the Pride Senior Network. One day at a well being honest he gave out a easy questionnaire that requested: If you might be older and had been to immediately fall unwell, do you will have somebody who would take care of you? After finding out the responses, he undertook his analysis.

Dr. Karpiak joined the college of New York University’s College of Nursing in his 60s and later labored for G.M.H.C. (previously Gay Men’s Health Crisis), the place he based its National Resource Center on H.I.V. and Aging.

When the coronavirus pandemic gripped New York, Dr. Karpiak grew involved about how older individuals residing with H.I.V. can be affected by lockdown. Sequestered in his Hell’s Kitchen condominium, he took half in internet conferences with medical consultants to handle the subject. He at all times inspired his analysis topics to tune in, so they might hear that somebody was looking for them.

“The Covid-19 pandemic showed us that we are an ageist society,” Dr. Karpiak mentioned in 2020. “We hear misinformation constantly: ‘This virus only affects old people,’ so most people, ‘don’t need to worry about it so much.’”

“I have heard many older adults say, ‘The worst thing in the world is to feel abandoned,’” he continued. “Even more unsettling is hearing from them, ‘There is something worse than AIDS, like loneliness.’”

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