In developed nations, antiretroviral therapy has boosted survival for persons living with HIV, leading to the aging of this population. The rate of aging has not been quantified, however, producing uncertainty in the treatment emphasis and burden in these patients. Advertisement
To estimate numbers and ages of Australian men who have sex with men (MSM) living with HIV from 1980 to 2005, the researchers employed a mathematical model in conjunction with HIV/AIDS data from the Australian National HIV/AIDS Registry.
The resulting data indicate that the average age of HIV-positive MSM in Australia has increased by one year of age for every two calendar years since the mid-1980s and is estimated to exceed 44 by 2010. The number of HIV-positive MSM over age 60 has been increasing by 12 percent each year since 1995.
"A consequence of successful therapy with subsequent aging of those infected has meant that from 2001 estimated deaths from other causes exceed AIDS deaths in Australia," the authors wrote. "In summary, our analyses indicate an increasing and rapidly aging population living with HIV in Australia. This will inevitably lead to more serious non-AIDS conditions in aging patients living with HIV, and to increased treatment complexity."
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