people living with HIV are composed of two groups


people living with HIV are composed of two groups. With the introduction of highly active antiretroviral treatment (HAART) in the mid-1990s, life expectancy among people living with HIV has increased significantly [4]. As a consequence, living with HIV has changed from being a death sentence to a chronic Z-VAD-FMK ic50 condition. This means that many people who were infected earlier in life now are ageing with HIV as they survive well into their 50s and 60s. The second group of older people living with HIV is those who were infected late in life. Historically, much attention has been given to preventing HIV infections in young people; yet, studies from Western Europe have shown that the average age at HIV diagnosis throughout the 1990s increased [5,6]. Moreover, as shown in Table 1, 12.9% of newly reported cases of HIV in Western Screening Library datasheet Europe in 2007 were in people aged 50 years or older. In Central Europe, almost one-in-10 newly reported cases of HIV were in older people (Table 2), while the proportion in Eastern

Europe was 3.7% in 2007 (Table 3). However, underreporting may be considerable in this group because older people, as Schmid et al. [2] point out, are not commonly perceived as a risk group by themselves or their health care providers; wherefore symptoms of HIV/AIDS such as weight loss and fatigue may be dismissed as symptoms of ageing. Several studies have found that older people in general are diagnosed with HIV infection at a later stage of disease progression compared with younger people [7–9]. An Italian study, for example, found that two-thirds of older people

who tested positive for HIV were late testers and only one-quarter were receiving antiretroviral therapy at the time of AIDS diagnosis [7]. Delays in testing and treatment may at least partly explain why older people often have a poorer clinical outcome, shorter time between HIV diagnosis and AIDS diagnosis and shorter survival time. Studies Thymidylate synthase have suggested that older people can obtain the same viro-immunological success as younger people if they undergo compliant antiretroviral therapy [10,11]. Older people with HIV infection are at an increased risk of asymptomatic ischaemic heart disease, diabetes and renal and liver toxicities compared with younger people with HIV infection [12–14]. Compared with their younger counterparts, they are also at an increased risk of developing certain HIV/AIDS-related conditions and are at higher risk of multiple AIDS-defining illnesses [7,15]. The presence of comorbid conditions and their treatment pose a special challenge in the treatment of people living with HIV because of a possible greater potential for pharmacological interactions and toxicities. In addition, older people with HIV infection may experience ‘double stigma’, as research has found that many are faced with both HIV/AIDS-related and age-related stigma [16].

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