Old, grey and gay: HIV and ageing

Shaun Watson
Clinical Nurse Specialist (HIV Community) for Westminster
Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, London, UK

People diagnosed in the last few years who start antiretroviral therapy (ART) at a sufficiently high CD4 count, and stay on it, are likely to have a normal lifespan. A non-smoking, 30-year-old gay man, whose HIV is diagnosed promptly, could expect to live until he is 78 – the same age as the average UK male [1].
Research into HIV and ageing is the hot topic … 30 years ago who would have predicted that we would be looking at people growing old with HIV, and the many, complex issues this presents? The reasons for this change are many and varied. As ART has become more effective and sophisticated, we are seeing a population of people with HIV living longer, healthier lives. As the devastation and complications brought by opportunistic infections have reduced, we now have the complications of ageing. Read more…