Thanks to advancements in antiretroviral therapy (ART), patients with HIV can live longer lives. That also means HIV in older adults is now more prevalent than before. About one in six HIV diagnoses involved people aged 50 or older in 2016. Growing older with HIV has special considerations to keep in mind, but the future looks optimistic for these patients. HIV diagnoses for people 50 and over decreased by 6 percent between 2011 and 2015.
Improvements in healthcare and resources increase the quality of life for HIV patients every day. However, you can only take advantage of this progress if you get that support. HIV treatment and care become incredibly important when you get older. Alder Health Services provides case management, testing and other forms of support for individuals living with HIV. When we work together, you can live a happy and healthy life.
Outlook for Patients With HIV
HIV patients have a much better outlook today than they did during the HIV/AIDS epidemic. While they could only expect to live one to two years in the 1980s, they can live into their senior years with ART. When a patient gets treatment, they can expect to live for at least another 30 to 50 years, and sometimes even longer. At the end of 2013, six percent of people with HIV were 65 years old or above.
If you live with HIV, you still have a great life ahead of you — you just need extra support and healthcare to handle any complications that happen as you age. HIV raises your risk of inflammation and makes you more susceptible to infections. These issues become more challenging to take care of when you grow older. With the right help, you can address any problems that come your way in your senior years.
The Importance of HIV Support Services
Everyone living with HIV should seek support services, but they become especially crucial as you age. HIV puts you at an increased risk of age-related diseases like dementia and cardiovascular disease. Older adults with HIV also face more isolation and loneliness than their younger counterparts. Medical and emotional support will help you maintain your physical and mental health.
Older adults who don’t have HIV also benefit from support services. Since older people have a higher risk of receiving a diagnosis during later stages, testing becomes incredibly important. Yet, many of them don’t get testedbecause of embarrassment or mistaking symptoms for age-related complications. The CDC recommends HIV testing at least once between ages 13 and 64.
Resources From Alder Health
If you have HIV or think you might have it, you are not alone. Alder Health Services provides the following services to anyone living with or at risk for HIV:
- Case management
- Behavioral health services
- Housing assistance
- PrEP treatment
- Free STI and HIV testing
People in the Harrisburg area of any gender or sexual orientation may come to us for help. We provide a compassionate and judgment-free environment where you can get the care you need. To learn more about the ways we can assist, visit our contact page or call us at 717-233-7190.