What is "aging well" for people living with HIV

Talking about how to "age well" for people living with HIV is an important issue for us.

And I translated this seeing all the time Beatrice Pacheco who really who really knows and knew how age well

When Canadian researchers asked people with HIV-positive over 50 years, how would they define the "aging successful", Six key themes emerged:

  • Accept limitations,
  • Stay positive,
  • Maintaining social support,
  • Take responsibility,
  • Living a healthy and healthy lifestyle
  • Participate in meaningful activities.

Writing on the International Journal of STD & AIDS, Patricia Solomon and her colleagues noted the emphasis on individual control. Clinicians and service providers must work with people living with HIV to understand their values ​​and aspirations and help them identify their personal goals, the researchers say.

In relation to the general population, there are numerous definitions and models of successful aging. For example, some authors have said that it has three components: disease prevention, maintenance of cognitive and physical functions, and social engagement. However, the concerns and of people living with HIV may be different. The experience of stigma and discrimination may mean that social isolation is a particular concern. Having already dealt with health problems over many years, people with HIV have different feelings about their physical health.

For a qualitative study on HIV, aging and disability, researchers in Ontario, Canada conducted a series of in-depth interviews with older people living with HIV. Each person was interviewed on four separate occasions during a period of 18 months.

The 24 interviewed had between 50 and 73 years, with a mean age of 57. Fourteen were male and 10 were female. The length of time since HIV diagnosis ranged from 6 to 30 years, with an average of 18 years. While three quarters had an undetectable viral load, three quarters also reported experiencing at least six "uncomfortable" symptoms. Only one in five was employed and earnings tended to be low.

At the end of the fourth interview, participants were asked how to define successful aging and reflect on whether they considered themselves to be aging successfully. The six key themes that have emerged are described below.

For people living with HIV to age well these are "details" to consider

people living with HIV

Me and Mara ... In the Future ...

Accepting limitations

Respondents talked about the importance of coming to terms with the realities of aging, not expecting to be able to do as much as when they were younger and to set limits. When a man asked if he considered himself to be aging successfully, he replied:

"I'm in a happy place. I could be happier, but I mean, I accept. I am accepting what my life is. "

Staying Positive

While many participants talked about being positive and happy, they defined it in a number of ways - avoiding depression, dreaming and wishing, and maintaining a sense of humor.

"Having a sunny disposition about life, do not let things put you down, I can not stand small things. This is big. I can not stand small things. "

Maintenance of social support

Connecting with others has been recognized as an essential element of successful aging. This can be with friends, family, other people with HIV and other social networks. Respondents recognized the practical (and emotional) support they sometimes needed.

"I learned, this was difficult for me, I learned to ask for help".

Take responsibility

Being involved in managing one's health was important to many participants.

"We are dealing with HIV and it will not disappear, so we need to be self-reliant and we must be good managers of our health and our psyche so that we do not fall into suffering."

Healthy lifestyle

Many respondents recognized the importance of a healthy lifestyle. They talked about eating healthy, refraining from drug and smoking, resting and sleeping well, minimizing stress and regular exercise.

"If you want to live a full and long and healthy life, you can ... Adherence to your medicines is paramount, but along with these changes you will make in your personal life."

Participate in meaningful activities

A key element was people's ability to participate in activities that would be useful to them. These could be the maintenance of existing activities of finding new ones, including caring for oneself, caring for others, offering work or employment.

"Every day I just keep going, I will not stop working. And it helps the mind and body to continue. "


While successful academic and professional models of aging tend to emphasize physical health and absence of disease, researchers say that their respondents were less concerned about it - only one respondent mentioned living to old age - and was more concerned about the psychological and social aspects of aging.

"Our participants seemed to focus on components of successful aging that emphasized individual control," the researchers say. "From a clinical perspective, it highlights the importance of working with PLHIVA to understand their values ​​and aspirations and to create patient-centered goals that are meaningful to the individual."

Translated by Claudio Souza What is "successful aging" for people living with HIV?! ...


Solomon P et al. "I'm still here, I'm still alive": Understanding successful aging in the context of HIV. International Journal of STD & AIDS line before the 2017 copy. (Summary).

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