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New Report Outlines Latest Issues on Aging With HIV

August 12, 2013

With effective antiretroviral therapy (ART), people living with HIV are able to have long, healthy lives, to the point where they can now expect an almost normal lifespan. However, we're also seeing a lot of other health problems linked to aging with HIV.

Treatment Action Group (TAG) recently released a report to highlight some of the key issues surrounding the immune system, HIV and aging. Some of these issues include cardiovascular, kidney and liver disease; bone loss and increased fracture risk; frailty; cognitive impairment; and cancer.

In the report, TAG writes:

As the proportion of older individuals living with HIV grows, there is an urgent need to understand how a broad array of factors may be contributing to this phenomenon [of premature aging]; these factors include inflammation, immune dysregulation, polypharmacy, long-term drug toxicities, and coinfections and comorbidities that are disproportionally prevalent among people with HIV, such as hepatitis B and C, current or former substance-use disorders, stress, and depression. [...]

As a general recommendation, HIV-positive individuals should consider the lifestyle factors that are now known or expected to maximize health once a person reaches old age; these include daily exercise, a healthy diet, maintaining low blood pressure and cholesterol, and avoiding substance abuse and excess fat gain.

While there are no immediate answers, the report introduces some of the current research into HIV and aging, while also pointing out questions that still need to be addressed.

Warren Tong is the research editor for and

Follow Warren on Twitter: @WarrenAtTheBody.

Copyright © 2013 Remedy Health Media, LLC. All rights reserved.

This article was provided by TheBody.
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Reader Comments:

Comment by: Yuri (Queens) Fri., Sep. 20, 2013 at 8:54 am UTC
I did not see a link? How much do I need to pay to get the full report? Or Tag only gives them to large money donors?
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Comment by: Bud Hardy (New York, NY) Thu., Sep. 19, 2013 at 9:40 am UTC
Normal life expectancy? So why can't people living with HIV be offered life insurance? Or extended care insurance for folks that get really old and aren't as able to do for themselves? Why not write provide insurance or extended care for issues unrelated to HIV as a first step.
Come lets be reasonable to folks living with HIV.
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Comment by: SWAZPoz (Tucson, AZ) Thu., Aug. 15, 2013 at 4:17 pm UTC
Great news. Sad part is insurance companies are reclassifying HIV drugs as non-preventative which raises your out of pocket cost tremendously or not covering them at all. I hope the Health Care Exchanges in October will give us better drug coverage options.
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Comment by: Mike Hellman (Pittsburgh, PA) Thu., Aug. 15, 2013 at 4:12 pm UTC
Thank you to TAG for keeping this message in the forefront for those, like myself, aging with HIV. I recommend reading Dr. James Masten's book on "Aging with HIV" to better understand ourselves too. I used his book as an outline for a 6-week session for PLWA with Dr. Masten's assistance. Personally, I don't always do the right thing, even for myself, but I must keep reminding myself to keep a positive attitude and attend to my yoga every week to remain limber and steadfast in my desire to slow down aging (feeling old) and increase my libido and desires to live life to the fullest!
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