The Patient Experience #5: HIV & Aging

A Patient Voice

Today, more than half of all people living with HIV in the United States are 50 years or older. This is mostly because people are living much longer with HIV thanks to effective antiretroviral (ARV) therapy, and that’s good news.

The bad news is research increasingly shows that diseases that typically strike HIV-negative people in their 60s and 70s are occurring in people with HIV in their 40s and 50s. These concerns have brought the issue of aging with HIV to center stage. One of the biggest unanswered questions is why this is occurring. Whether it’s heart attacks, bone fractures, kidney disease or certain cancers, the rates of these conditions in HIV-positive people are alarming. It’s unclear how much HIV contributes to these conditions and how much is explainable by other factors (such as smoking, HIV drugs and coinfection with other viruses, and the longterm side effects of the allegedly…

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