Potentially Inappropriate Prescribing in Older People Living With HIV: A Scoping Review

J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2023 Dec 15;94(5):445-460. doi: 10.1097/QAI.0000000000003298.


Background: Antiretroviral therapy has transformed HIV from a progressive and often fatal infection to a chronic disease. Currently, people living with HIV (PLHIV) have near-normal life expectancy; however, they face accelerated ageing and a rise in non-AIDS-defining HIV-associated conditions. Comorbidities increase the number of prescribed drugs and, therefore, the risk of polypharmacy and prescribing potentially inappropriate medications (PIMs). Still, there are no specific tools to identify PIMs in older PLHIV, which opens a pathway to investigate the particularities in the prescription of medication in this population.

Methods: We conducted a scoping review in 5 electronic databases for studies reporting the use of tools to identify PIMs in older PLHIV. No language or date restrictions were applied. To complete the search, abstracts published in the most relevant HIV Conferences and Events in their editions from 2010 to 2022 were screened.

Results: Of 50,193 records returned (13,701 of the databases and 36,492 of the Congresses), 39 studies met the inclusion criteria. Most studies were single-centre and conducted in Europe. Twenty-eight studies were cross-sectional, and most researchers used explicit criteria, mainly Beers and STOPP-START criteria, to identify PIMs.

Conclusions: Potentially inappropriate prescribing is frequent among older PLHIV. Explicit conventional tools to identify PIMs in older populations may need to be adapted to tackle the needs of PLHIV. Implicit tools may be more valid, although their use is more time-consuming, and standardization is complex.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Europe
  • HIV Infections* / complications
  • HIV Infections* / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Inappropriate Prescribing*
  • Polypharmacy
  • Prescriptions