Current HIV/AIDS Reports

, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp 279–290 | Cite as

Functional Impairment, Disability, and Frailty in Adults Aging with HIV-Infection

  • Kristine M. ErlandsonEmail author
  • Jennifer A. Schrack
  • Catherine M. Jankowski
  • Todd T. Brown
  • Thomas B. Campbell
Co-infections and Comorbidity (CM Wyatt and K Sigel, Section Editors)


The integration of antiretroviral therapy (i.e., ART) into HIV care has dramatically extended the life expectancy of those living with HIV. However, in comparison to similar HIV-uninfected populations, HIV-infected persons experience an excess of morbidity and mortality with an early onset of aging complications including neurocognitive decline, osteoporosis, impaired physical function, frailty, and falls. Recent consensus guidelines encourage clinicians and researchers to consider functional impairment of HIV-infected adults as a measure to understand the impact of aging across a range of abilities. Despite the importance of assessing function in persons aging with HIV infection, a lack of consistent terminology and standardization of assessment tools has limited the application of functional assessments in clinical or research settings. Herein, we distinguish between different approaches used to assess function, describe what is known about function in the aging HIV population, and consider directions for future research.


HIV Frailty Physical function Functional impairment Functional limitation Quality of life Disability Aging 



This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health [R03AG040594-01] and the Hartford Foundation Center of Excellence in Geriatric Medicine. Contents are the authors’ sole responsibility and do not necessarily represent official NIH views.

Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

Conflict of Interest

Jennifer A. Schrack and Catherine M. Jankowski declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Kristine M. Erlandson reports grants from Hartford Foundation, grants from NIH, during the conduct of the study.

Todd T. Brown reports personal fees from Merck, personal fees from ViiV Healthcare, personal fees from Abbvie, personal fees from EMD-Serono, personal fees from Gilead, outside the submitted work.

Thomas B. Campbell reports grants from US NIH, during the conduct of the study; personal fees from Gilead Sciences, outside the submitted work; has served as a consultant to Merck, ViiV Healthcare, Abbvie, EMD-Serono, and Gilead.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kristine M. Erlandson
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Jennifer A. Schrack
    • 3
  • Catherine M. Jankowski
    • 4
  • Todd T. Brown
    • 5
  • Thomas B. Campbell
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Medicine, Divisions of Infectious DiseasesUniversity of ColoradoAuroraUSA
  2. 2.Department of Medicine, Division of Geriatric MedicineUniversity of ColoradoAuroraUSA
  3. 3.Department of Epidemiology, Bloomberg School of Public HealthJohns Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreUSA
  4. 4.College of NursingUniversity of ColoradoAuroraUSA
  5. 5.Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and MetabolismJohns Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreUSA

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