HIV & Aging: Journal Articles

Many people living with HIV use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) to manage symptoms, chronic medical conditions, or to optimize health. This study looked at different types of CAM among people living with HIV who were also taking ART. The study also compared characteristics of people who used CAM compared to those who did not. The data are from veterans who participated in the Veterans Aging Cohort Study between 2012-2015.

Depression is known to be frequent in adults with HIV and to complicate management. However, what is not so clear is how the length of depression status over time can affect outcomes. In a study of almost 6000 patients, median age 44, with 2 or more depression assessments in the period 2005 to 2015, it was possible to address this question.

The National Cancer Institute projects that the proportion of adult persons with HIV in the US aged 65 years and older will increase from 8.5% to 21.4% in 2030. There will be a decrease in age-specific cancer rates for Kaposi sarcoma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, cervical cancer, lung cancer, Hodgkin lymphoma and other cancer types combined through 2030. However, absolute numbers of lung cancer will increase. Also, prostate cancer rates and numbers are projected to increase during this time period.

The frequency of depression in older adults with HIV is known to be higher than in matched populations. A challenge for assessment is the diagnosis of depression over time using a valid screening test. This study reports on the use of the CES-D (Center for Epidemiologic Studies –Depression) scale as a screening test. It was evaluated in a 5-year longitudinal study of over 1500 MSM (men who have sex with men) participants, ages 50 and over, both with and without HIV.

Almost a third of transgender women in the USA test positive for HIV (CDC). This study aimed to show the CVD profile of transgender women. Data was derived from the Partners Healthcare System (PHS) in Boston. The study found that transgender women with HIV showed a significantly increased prevalence of anemia, as well as lower hemoglobin levels when compared to men with HIV. Both groups had a mean age of 51. There was no difference for traditional CVD risk factors such as prevalence of hyperlipidemia or hypertension.

There is a paucity of research and published literature on older transgender individuals. This article provides a comprehensive review of the literature relevant to providing optimal mental health care to older trans adults. It reviews terminology, highlights health disparities, and reviews ways for mental health professionals to support the aging transgender client. The older the transgender adult, the more likely the individual grew up in a historical context when there was greater social stigma towards their gender identity, even among mental health professionals.

HIV-positive veterans (n=42,441) and demographically matched uninfected veterans (n=104,712) from (1999-2015) were followed for 16 years in this study–98% were men. Long-term viral suppression was associated with a reduction in the increased risk by more than 90% for ADC (AIDS defining cancers). There was a 23% reduction for virus-related NADC (non–AIDS-defining cancer), but absent for NADC not caused by virus. For the first two groups, 60% of the risk reduction was attributed to early suppression.

Data on 876 Canadian patients diagnosed with HIV before 1996 were analyzed. This sample was able to be followed for more than 20 years on average. The researchers defined the socio-demographic, clinical, and health care utilization characteristics of these long-term HIV/AIDS survivors. The study purpose was to understand what factors could account for those who survived to 1/1/2016. Of 876 patients, 49.5% died, 30.3% moved, 20.3% remained in active care for a median of 23.4 years.

Moderate to high-intensity aerobic exercise increases cardiorespiratory fitness (VO2peak) in younger adults with HIV. There are few studies that show any benefit from varying types of exercise in older adults with HIV. In a pilot study using 22 older men with HIV, half were randomly assigned to one of two groups – moderate-intensity aerobic exercise (Mod-AEX) or high-intensity aerobic exercise (High-AEX). In the High-AEX group, exercise consisted of using a motorized treadmill with occasional substitution using an elliptical machine as needed for joint pain.

Patients’ perceive their ART as crucial for their living. Is their attitude similar for those medications they take for comorbid conditions? To assess this, a sample of 150 patients from the Swiss HIV Cohort Study (SHCS) was assessed. Adherence for ART, and for treatments of comorbid conditions, was defined as not missing any dose or missing one dose of the treatment in the past 4 weeks. The final sample has a mean age of 54 with 70% being male. Of these, 83% were adherent to ART and 71% were adherent to their co-treatments (P=0.0001).


Purpose of this Program: The AAHIVM, ACRIA and AGS (collectively, the “Sponsors,” “we” or “us”) are sponsors of this Website and through it seek to address the unique needs and challenges that older adults of diverse populations living with HIV face as they age. However, the information in this Website is not meant to supplant the advice provided in a doctor-patient relationship.

General Disclaimer: is designed for educational purposes only and is not engaged in rendering medical advice or professional services. The information provided through should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or a disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, consult your health care provider.



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The American Academy of HIV Medicine is a professional organization that supports the HIV practitioner and promotes accessible, quality care for all Americans living with HIV disease. Our membership of HIV practitioners and credentialed HIV Specialists™, HIV Experts™, and HIV Pharmacists™ provide direct care to the majority of HIV patients in the US.