We aimed to characterize successful cognitive aging (SCA) among older HIV-infected (HIV+) and HIV-uninfected (HIV-) adults, and to determine associations with positive psychological factors and health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Ninety-nine HIV+ and 46 HIV- older adults (≥ 50 years) completed measures of neurocognition, positive psychological factors, and HRQoL. Using study-defined SCA criteria (i.e., no cognitive or everyday impairment or major depressive disorder), we compared positive psychological factors and HRQoL across four groups: HIV+/SCA+, HIV+/SCA-, HIV-/SCA+, HIV-/SCA-. SCA was identified in 29% of the HIV+ sample compared to 61% of the HIV- sample (p < 0.01). HIV+/SCA+ participants had higher scores on 8 of 10 measures of positive psychological factors as well as better HRQoL (ps < 0.05) as compared to the HIV+/SCA- group. Furthermore, the HIV+/SCA+ participants had comparable scores on these factors as HIV- adults. Fewer HIV+ than HIV- participants met SCA criteria; however, the level of positive psychological factors among the HIV+/SCA+ group was comparable to the HIV- sample. Our findings present opportunities for interventions to optimize positive psychological factors and potentially improve SCA among older HIV+ adults.
Keywords: Aging; Cognition; HIV/AIDS; Health-related quality of life; Positive Psychology.