July 31, 2006
HIV-positive people over age 50 living in the U.S. have high rates of depression and age-related medical conditions, according to a study that will be presented at the XVI International AIDS Conference in Toronto, USA Today reports. Stephen Karpiak, research director of the AIDS Community Research Initiative of America, and colleagues asked 1,000 HIV-positive people over age 50 in New York City questions about their health status, sexual behavior, mental well-being and support networks. According to the survey, 67% of HIV-positive people identified themselves as heterosexual, 70% lived alone and 82% were unemployed. The study finds that HIV-positive adults over age 50 are 13 times as likely to experience high levels of depression as the general population of the city and that many people surveyed had medical conditions associated with age including arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure and vision loss. In addition, the study finds that 35% of HIV-positive people over age 50 have revealed their status to their friends and that fewer than half have told their families, which is "possibly out of guilt or fear of rejection," according to Karpiak. The study indicates that the health care system is underserving HIV-positive seniors, Karpiak said, adding that the study is the "beginning of learning how to best sustain the health and quality of life for the aging HIV-infected population" (Brophy Marcus, USA Today, 7/30).
The XVI International AIDS Conference program is now available online.
Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, or sign up for email delivery at www.kaisernetwork.org/dailyreports/hiv. The Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of the Kaiser Family Foundation, by The Advisory Board Company. © 2006 by The Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.