California: Project Inform Forum Focuses on HIV and Aging
October 26, 2009
Effective antiretroviral therapy has helped make age-related concerns come into focus among HIV patients and health care providers. About 15 percent of newly HIV-infected people are over age 50, and by 2015 nearly half of HIV-positive people in the United States will be over 50. The proportion is already 40 percent in San Francisco, where Project Inform sponsored a recent forum on aging and HIV.
More research is focusing on these age-related conditions, which seem accelerated among some younger patients. The chronic conditions include cardiovascular disease, kidney impairment, non-AIDS cancers, osteoporosis, cognitive decline and frailty, said Matt Sharp, Project Inform's director of treatment and prevention advocacy.
HIV-positive people can prevent some diseases by quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet, getting more exercise, and ending or reducing their use of alcohol and recreational drugs. "You don't need to join a gym to exercise, you just need to get your blood moving for 30 minutes a day," Sharp said. Anal Pap smears, colon cancer tests, and cholesterol screenings are also important, he added.
Bay Area Reporter (San Francisco)
10.22.2009; Liz Highleyman