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HIV infection in the elderly

Authors Nancy Nguyen, Mark Holodniy

Published 12 September 2008 Volume 2008:3(3) Pages 453—472

DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/CIA.S2086

Nancy Nguyen1, Mark Holodniy2

1University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Stockton, CA, USA; 2VA Palo Alto Health Care System, Palo Alto, CA, USA

Abstract: In the US, an estimated 1 million people are infected with HIV, although one-third of this population are unaware of their diagnosis. While HIV infection is commonly thought to affect younger adults, there are an increasing number of patients over 50 years of age living with the condition. UNAIDS and WHO estimate that of the 40 million people living with HIV/AIDS in the world, approximately 2.8 million are 50 years and older. With the introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in the mid-1990s, survival following HIV diagnosis has risen dramatically and HIV infection has evolved from an acute disease process to being managed as a chronic medical condition. As treated HIV-infected patients live longer and the number of new HIV diagnoses in older patients rise, clinicians need to be aware of these trends and become familiar with the management of HIV infection in the older patient. This article is intended for the general clinician, including geriatricians, and will review epidemiologic data and HIV treatment as well as provide a discussion on medical management issues affecting the older HIV-infected patient.

Keywords: HIV, epidemiology, treatment, aging, review

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