APA: Aging HIV Patient Population Presents Care Challenge

Guidance to address ageism in HIV care includes targeting older adults with prevention, education
Guidance to address ageism in HIV care includes targeting older adults with prevention, education

HealthDay News — The population of older adults with HIV is increasing, and their needs must be addressed, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, held from August 3 to 6 in Washington, D.C.

Noting that older adults are being overlooked when it comes to HIV prevention and treatment, Mark Brennan-Ing, PhD, from the ACRIA: Center on HIV and Aging in New York City, presented recommendations to address the implicit ageism in HIV care. 

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Brennan-Ing notes that in developed countries, almost half of all people living with HIV are age 50 years or older. That number is expected to increase to 70% by 2020 in some countries. In this population, the stigma due to age, sexual orientation, and other factors can lead to negative outcomes. Recommendations to address the issue include training health care providers in screening, diagnosis, and initiation of therapy in older populations; targeting older adults in prevention, education, and outreach; treatment guidelines for older individuals with HIV; funding to address the aging of the epidemic; and engagement of communities, community-based organizations, and social service providers; and addressing the needs of specific populations.

"The aging of the HIV epidemic will be very challenging, but provides the opportunity to mount a global response that will address the needs of this population across regions and settings," Brennan-Ing said in a statement.

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