Comparing the characteristics of people living with and without HIV in long-term care and home care in Ontario, Canada

AIDS Care. 2015;27(10):1343-53. doi: 10.1080/09540121.2015.1058893. Epub 2015 Sep 14.


Population aging and successful drug therapy in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) management mean that more people are living longer with HIV. As these individuals age, they become more at risk of developing other chronic health conditions which will have many implications for disease management and choice of care setting. As people living with HIV turn to home care and long-term care (LTC) settings for care, understanding the particular needs of this population is becoming increasingly important. This study sought to describe the sociodemographic, clinical, and social attributes of people living with HIV in the home care and institutional environments. This work involved secondary analysis of data collected from both the international Resident Assessment Instruments (interRAI) home care and minimum data set instruments in the Canadian province of Ontario. Descriptive analysis was used to describe key attributes of people living with and without HIV in LTC, complex continuing care, and home care settings. A comparison of differences between people living with HIV across the three environments was also done using Chi-square analysis. People living with HIV were often younger, male and unmarried than other populations in the care settings studied. Together with specific health needs associated with issues like mental health and social isolation, people living with HIV represent a population with complex and distinctive health needs. Finding ways to better understand the needs of this vulnerable population will help to develop strategies to provide better formal and informal care and improve the quality of life of this group. interRAI standardized assessment instruments may be important tools for meeting this challenge.

Keywords: HIV; aging; assessment instruments; home care; interRAI; long-term care.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / psychology*
  • Health Services for the Aged
  • Home Care Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Long-Term Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Ontario
  • Quality of Life*