Identifying the needs of older people living with HIV (≥ 50 years old) from multiple centres over the world: a descriptive analysis

AIDS Res Ther. 2023 Feb 12;20(1):10. doi: 10.1186/s12981-022-00488-7.


Background: Older People Living with HIV (OPWH) combine both aging and HIV-infection features, resulting in ageism, stigma, social isolation, and low quality of life. This context brings up new challenges for healthcare professionals, who now must aid patients with a significant comorbidity burden and polypharmacy treatments. OPWH opinion on their health management is hardly ever considered as a variable to study, though it would help to understand their needs on dissimilar settings.

Methods: We performed a cross-sectional, comparative study including patients living with HIV aged ≥50 years old from multiple centers worldwide and gave them a survey addressing their perception on overall health issues, psychological problems, social activities, geriatric conditions, and opinions on healthcare. Data was analyzed through Chisquared tests sorting by geographical regions, age groups, or both.

Results: We organized 680 participants data by location (Center and South America [CSA], Western Europe [WE], Africa, Eastern Europe and Israel [EEI]) and by age groups (50- 55, 56-65, 66-75, >75). In EEI, HIV serostatus socializing and reaching undetectable viral load were the main problems. CSA participants are the least satisfied regarding their healthcare, and a great part of them are not retired. Africans show the best health perception, have financial problems, and fancy their HIV doctors. WE is the most developed region studied and their participants report the best scores. Moreover, older age groups tend to live alone, have a lower perception of psychological problems, and reduced social life.

Conclusions: Patients' opinions outline region- and age-specific unmet needs. In EEI, socializing HIV and reaching undetectable viral load were the main concerns. CSA low satisfaction outcomes might reflect high expectations or profound inequities in the region. African participants results mirror a system where general health is hard to achieve, but HIV clinics are much more appealing to them. WE is the most satisfied region about their healthcare. In this context, age-specific information, education and counseling programs (i.e. Patient Reported Outcomes, Patient Centered Care, multidisciplinary teams) are needed to promote physical and mental health among older adults living with HIV/AIDS. This is crucial for improving health-related quality of life and patient's satisfaction.

Keywords: Aging; Health-Related Quality of Life; Multicentre study; Older People Living with HIV; Patient satisfaction.

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome*
  • Aged
  • Aging
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • HIV Infections* / drug therapy
  • HIV Infections* / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections* / psychology
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life