Older HIV Patients Have More Health Problems

With better treatments that enable patients with HIV live longer comes with the consequence of taking a larger bite out of the health care system, a new report states.

Apart from the virus, people suffering from HIV are also afflicted with a variety of other symptoms that also require health care. In a survey of about 1,000 HIV-positive New Yorkers ages 50 and older, it is found out that more than half of them had symptoms of depression at a much higher rate than people their age without HIV.

Also, 91 percent of respondents had other chronic medical conditions ranging from arthritis, hepatitis, neuropathy, and high blood pressure. About 77 percent had two or more other conditions and about half had progressed to AIDS before getting the HIV diagnosis.

Antiretroviral therapies have enabled HIV patients to live their lives similar to those without the virus. However, a 55-year-old with HIV tends to appear like a 70-year-old without HIV in terms of other conditions they need treatment for.

This poses as a challenge for public health systems and organizations because of the special needs of older patients with HIV.

Source: Business World

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