HIV and aging
- Cite this article as:
- Shah, S. & Mildvan, D. Curr Infect Dis Rep (2006) 8: 241. doi:10.1007/s11908-006-0065-x
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Approximately one in five individuals living with HIV infection in the United States is 50 years of age or older. This proportion continues to increase as HIV incidence remains stable and potent antiretroviral therapy has reduced the morbidity and mortality associated with HIV infection. Newly identi.ed HIV-seropositive older individuals are proportionately more likely than younger persons to have AIDS at the time of diagnosis. Clinicians have to think about the possibility of HIV infection in older persons to avoid delays in diagnosis and treatment. Immunologic recovery in older individuals initiated on combination antiretroviral therapy is less robust in some studies compared with younger individuals. However, virologic suppression on treatment in young versus old antiretroviral naïve patients is comparable. Co-morbid conditions and their treatment pose a special challenge to health care providers with regard to drug metabolism and interactions with HIV medications. HIV prevention should be discussed with all at risk individuals. The HIV epidemic will only worsen if medical practitioners neglect to discuss sexual risk behavior with their older patients.