Newsweek Examines the Effect of Aging on People Living With HIV/AIDS
September 22, 2008
Newsweek on Thursday examined the effects of aging on HIV-positive people older than age 50, who currently comprise the fastest-growing group of people living with HIV/AIDS in the U.S. From 1990 to 2005, the number of HIV cases among people older than 50 increased by more than 700%, according to local Department of Health studies. In addition, the AIDS Community Research Initiative of America reports that 35% of HIV-positive people are age 50 or older, and 70% are age 40 or older.
According to a 2006 ACRIA study, depression rates among HIV-positive people are 13 times higher than among the general population. Newsweek reports that many older HIV-positive people lack social support networks. Senior HIV-positive MSM are twice as likely to live alone as heterosexual people living with HIV. Charles Emlet -- a social worker at the University of Washington who studies HIV and aging -- said, "People with better social networks are more adherent to their meds, less likely to be depressed, and we know from gerentological literature that those with better social networks live longer -- outside of HIV" (Bennett, Newsweek, 9/18).
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This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.