Are HIV-Infected Older Adults Aging Differently?

Interdiscip Top Gerontol Geriatr. 2017;42:11-27. doi: 10.1159/000448539. Epub 2016 Nov 22.


With increasing success in treating HIV, infected persons are living longer, and a new challenge has emerged - the need to understand how HIV-infected adults are aging. What are the similarities with typical aging and what are the unique aspects that may have resulted from HIV infection, interacting with characteristic life style factors and other comorbid conditions? Are specific diseases and conditions (comorbidities), typically seen as part of the aging process, occurring at accelerated rates or with higher frequency (accentuated) in HIV-infected adults? At this juncture, conclusions should be tentative. Certainly, biological processes that correlate with aging occur earlier in the older adult HIV population. Clinical manifestations of these biological processes are age-associated illnesses occurring in greater numbers (multimorbidity), but they are not accelerated. Specifically cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, and renal disease are more common with other comorbidities less certain. Management of this elevated risk for developing multimorbidity is a major concern for patients and their health care teams. The medical system must respond to the evolving needs of this aging and growing older adult population who will dominate the epidemic. Adopting a more holistic approach to their health care management is needed to achieve optimal health and well-being in the HIV-infected older adult. Geriatric care principles best embody this approach.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Aging, Premature
  • Comorbidity
  • HIV Infections / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors