Age-Specific Care Strategies for Older HIV Patients

Study highlights care strategies for HIV patients to address the differences in the disease among patients in different age groups.

How HIV affects individuals differs between younger and older adults. In a new study, researchers provided age-specific strategies on how to provide care for older HIV-positive adults.

Currently, there are only a few existing treatment guidelines available that make a distinction when it comes to care by age, despite the differences between the two, such as older HIV-positive individuals tend to have an increased risk for late or missed diagnoses.

In a new study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, researchers created easy to follow approaches for providing care to older people living with HIV.

“Our article recommends an overall strategy in which various tools are used to provide information on the likely course of HIV for an individual, which clinicians can then use to guide discussions on personalized, person-centered care,” said study co-author Jonathan Appelbaum.

The study authors noted that one tool in particular that may be especially useful is the Veterans Aging Cohort Study (VACS) Index, which is able to help distinguish between individuals who are aging well, and those who may appear older than their chronical age.

“Our article highlights the need for more research on screening, evaluation, and treatment in older adults infected with HIV,” said study co-author Aroonsiri Sangarlangkarn. “As the number of older people living with HIV grows, we need scientifically sound data to help prepare our clinicians and healthcare systems for the unique needs and expectations of this group.”