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Geriatrics. 2008 Dec;63(12):6-12.

HIV in older adults.

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  • 1Harvard Medical School, Division of Gerontology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA, USA.


The prevalence of HIV/AIDS in older adults continues to increase, and in 2005, 25% of those infected with HIV were older than 50. Successful treatment regimens allow people to live longer with HIV, but the incidence is also increasing, with older adults accounting for 15% of new HIV cases in 2005. Prevention, diagnosis, and management of HIV/AIDS in older adults are complex issues. The aging immune system may impact response to treatment with highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), and there is greater potential for drug-drug interactions and toxicities due to comorbidities and polypharmacy. Patients living longer with HIV are more likely to develop diseases associated with aging, and at an earlier age, than those without HIV. These include coronary artery disease, dyslipidemia, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, osteoporosis, and dementia. Geriatricians and primary care providers are increasingly responsible for managing these complex issues.

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