Growing old with HIV: New challenges
Allison Webel, Assistant Professor of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University, looks at the first generation of HIV+ people that grows old. A generation ago, a list of tips for aging well with AIDS was considered unreal. But now those who were diagnosed 30 years ago are already elderly. But while people with HIV are living longer, but it means also new difficulties. New evidence suggests that there are some strategies to be developed to take care about elderly people with HIV. First, a reminder of the scope of HIV. There are an estimated 36.7 million people who have the virus. Despite the virus having been identified only in 1984, more than 35 million people have died of HIV or AIDS, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history. Yet these strategies can be hard to engage in, particularly for a historically marginalized population that is dealing with aging for the first time. Several investigators, including my team, are studying new ways to help this aging population.