Increase in HIV-positive over years 60 worries experts

The significant growth in the number of positives over the age of 60 planned for the coming years is a challenge given the medical and social problems of various kinds, particularly financial, which must be faced by these people.

The theme becomes increasingly worrying as people living with HIV over 60 years are living longer, and quality of life through the use of Antiretrovirals.

These patients, seropositive with more than 60 years, live mainly in western countries, in which was made available to this type of therapy from 1996. To these will be added in a few years millions of people who live in poor countries and in which the use of Antiretrovirals began only in the mid of the last decade.

A AIDS became known in 1981. Before being developed treatments with AntiretroviralsThe overall seropositive ended getting sick within ten years and died a year or two after that.

For many HIV positive who are now reaching older ages, living with HIV probably will cause medical problems, loneliness, shame and financial distress, according to a speech during the International Conference on AIDS in Vienna.

"There have always been older HIV-positive but are now many more, and this could have new approaches in terms of public health," estimated the director of UNAIDS, Gottfried Hirnschall.

"Ageing with HIV is more than a clinical challenge, it is also a social challenge that should not be confined to one part of the world, "he added.

To Lisa Power, the British charitable organization, Terrence Higgins Trust, although seropositive living longer than before, their quality of life is likely to deteriorate.

This organization interviewed more than seropositive 410 50 years of age residing in the UK. They are often unemployed and have lower savings to people of the same age and healthy, having expected to die before reaching an age so mature and therefore have saved less.

Many of them live in isolation, fear suffer double discrimination by age and illness and are obsessed with the day when they are in the hospital or in a home for the elderly.

A study presented by Margaret Hoffman-Terry of the independent organization based American Academy of HIV Medicine includes figures that show the existence of these problems.

In the United States, the number of seropositive individuals over the age of 50 moved from 20.000 1995 in the 120.000 in 2005.

HIV-positive people older than 60 years years are three times more likely to have a chronic disease than a healthy person of 70 years, according to Hoffman-Terry.

"In the future, we will have patients who live decades longer and we must find the way to do it in good health," he concluded.

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