In Zimbabwe, the mean age of people living with HIV (PLWH) will increase to 45 years by 2035, and the proportion suffering from major non-communicable diseases (NCDs) will rise substantially, a model published in AIDS predicted.
Those living with HIV will be twice as likely to suffer from one NCD, and three times as likely to have multiple such diseases than people not living with the virus, researchers estimated. They used disease surveillance and epidemiological data to predict the development of diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease, asthma and various cancers. They estimated that the proportion of people suffering from at least one such illness could be expected to rise by 6% among people not living with HIV during the next two decades, while the corresponding increase among PLWH would be 26%.
Study authors cautioned that they were unable to include assumptions about changes in smoking habits and other behavioral factors. They envisioned an updated model once lifestyle data become available.
A shift toward integrated health care is helping to address this change in disease burden, but more research is needed into effectively managing the various priorities for health care systems given limited resources, they concluded.