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NAT’L HIV/AIDS & AGING DAY

By on July 7, 2015

Older Americans are more likely than younger Americans to be diagnosed with HIV infection later in the course of their disease.

At the start of the epidemic, people who were diagnosed with HIV/AIDS could expect to live only 1-2 years after that diagnosis. This meant that the issues of aging were not a major focus for people with HIV disease.

But new medications and treatments have changed that. Life expectancy for people with HIV disease has increased dramatically—which means that they now have to face the challenges of aging with HIV/AIDS.

Normal aging is associated with risks for many different conditions, from osteoporosis to heart disease, but having HIV can increase those risks. Some illnesses or conditions which can be worsened by aging and HIV (or treatments for it) include:

-Dementia
-Depression
-Insulin resistance
-High cholesterol and triglycerides
-Infections
-Medication interactions

Older Americans are more likely than younger Americans to be diagnosed with HIV infection late in the course of their disease, meaning a late start to treatment and possibly more damage to their immune system. This can lead to poorer prognoses and shorter survival after an HIV diagnosis.

 

Content for this article courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and AIDS.gov.