BioScience Trends. 2022;16(1):91-98. (DOI: 10.5582/bst.2021.01437)

HIV/AIDS strategies should focus on outcomes and the psychological status of older patients diagnosed with HIV

Guan Y, Zhu H, Qi T, Zhang R, Chen J, Liu L, Shen Y, Lu H, Tang Q


In the context of an aging global population, the aging of patients with HIV is an issue that society will have to face. Data indicate that between 2011 and 2019, the proportion of patients age 60 and over who were newly diagnosed with HIV in China increased from 12% to 25%. In contrast to younger groups, the special characteristics of older patients pose major challenges to the management of their disease. The current study examined the clinical outcomes and psychological status of patients age 50 and over who were diagnosed with HIV. Out of a total of 566 older patients from eastern China, viral suppression was achieved in 446 (78.8%), treatment was immunologically effective in 410 (72.4%), and treatment was effective in 324 (57.2%). Thirty-nine patients (6.9%) had significant anxiety and 143 (25.3%) exhibited depressive tendencies. Level of education and the time from diagnosis to treatment were associated with the effectiveness of treatment. Age, sleep quality, chronic illness, exercise, and travel time to medical appointments were associated with depressive symptoms. These findings suggest that the burden of HIV among the older population remains high in more economically developed areas. The urgent need for HIV education and screening programs, as well as follow-up visits and early initiation of treatment in older patients, is called for.

KEYWORDS: effectiveness of HAART, HIV/AIDS, older patients, depressive symptoms

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