7. AIDS Long-Term Survivors and Aging with HIV

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Long-term survivors of the AIDS epidemic continued to make news in 2014, with the first-ever National HIV/AIDS Long-Term Survivors Awareness Day. There was more confirmation that people who start HIV treatment early may have a life expectancy matching that of uninfected individuals, but older people with HIV face health issues including cardiovascular disease and frailty.

In June the American Academy of HIV Medicine (AAHIVM), ACRIA, and the American Geriatrics Society released an update to its 2011 report, Recommended Treatment Strategies for Clinicians Managing Older Patients with HIV, available online at www.HIV-Age.org.

While studies show that early antiretroviral therapy reduces the risk of disease progression, people with HIV continue to have higher rates of chronic conditions such as heart disease and non-AIDS cancers -- although there is controversy about whether these occur at younger ages.

Researchers at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections presented several studies on HIV, aging, and frailty, as well as the link between depression an heart failure. The International AIDS Conference included a session on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in this population. Researcher increasing supports the idea that chronic inflammation underlies a wide range of comorbidities in people with HIV.

NEXT: 8. HIV Treatment Cascade: Majority in U.S. Have Uncontrolled Virus